For the thousands that mill around Mumbai Central waiting for their trains every day, there’s now a new distraction. Google’s much-anticipated Wifi service for Indian stations launches tomorrow at the station. Waiting commuters will now be able to access high-speed Google powered Wifi at the station premises.
The Wifi will be free for the first 30 minutes over a 24 hour period. Google claims that its high-speed network will be capable of delivering HD video streaming services and passengers will be able to download a movie in 4 minutes before they embark on long journeys.
The move to provide internet access to Indian stations was first announced during Prime Minister’s Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley in September 2015. The project aims to provide internet access to 100 stations by the end of 2016, and be extended to 400 stations eventually.
Google has partnered with RailTel, a public sector unit under the Ministry of Railways. RailTel has built a network of fiber-optic lines along most major rail tracks across the country, which will be used to support Wireless Access Points at train stations.
Google has been stress testing out the Wifi services at its India offices. But with Mumbai Central servicing 920 trains and thousands of passengers on a daily basis, it remains to be seen if Google will be able to provide the speeds it has promised.