Free Wi-Fi for Mumbai Rail Travellers by Google
Google India has started rolling out Wi-Fi services to rail passengers in Mumbai. The service has begun from Mumbai Central Train Station, which is the first of 400 stations that Google plans to reach with its service.
It is rare to see free Wi-Fi services in India. Most of India’s 300 million Internet users have to pay for personal access and depend on slow smartphone connectivity. India’s vast population of 1.25 billion includes 6 million new Internet users every month. Big names in the silicon valley like Google, Facebook, Microsoft are looking to expand in the Indian market with Amazon and eBay launching their services too.
India has a domestic online commerce companies with small businesses catching on. Less than 5 per cent of the nearly 50 million Indian small businesses have a web page. There are over 23 million people riding Indian railways daily with Google stating that free Internet in train stations will offer high-speed access that several can’t afford.
Google is also hoping to diversify India’s userbase as less than a third of Internet users in India are women. The company is upgrading its services in Hindi and other languages spoken across India.
Sundar Pichai had said during his last visit to India that “Most of India is still not online. We want to bring access to as many people as possible.” Google has tied up with Indian Railways and RailTel for this project.