New Delhi: Railways has successfully completed the work of providing free public Wi-Fi at 5,500 stations across the country. Mahua Milan Railway Station of East Central Railway zone, became the 5,500th station in the country to have free public Wi-Fi. This Wi-Fi network is one of the largest Wi-Fi networks of the world, said the Ministry of Railways in a Press communication today.
To transform Railway stations into hubs of Digital inclusion, Indian Railways mandated RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, to provide free high-speed Wi-Fi at the Railway stations. The program started in January 2016 from Mumbai Central Station, and in a span of 46 months Railways has successfully provided Wi-Fi at 5,500 stations across the country.
The mission is to provide Wi-Fi at all Railway stations (except the halt ones). Along the journey, RailTel has roped in partners like Google, Tata Trust, and PGCIL for some parts of the project, and also received funding from the Department of Telecom USOF for 200 stations. The Wi-Fi is provided under the brand name ‘RailWire.’
The month of October 2019 saw a total of 1.5 crore user logins on the ‘RailWire’ Wi-Fi services across all stations, consuming 10,242 TB of data.
Free access to high speed Wi-Fi will help in bridging the digital divide between rural and urban India, said the Ministry, adding that students using their waiting time to download study materials, vendors using the service for digital payment transactions, daily passengers using their time at stations to learn new skills or surfing the net – the free Wi-Fi is a boon to these people who otherwise suffer from poor connectivity issues.
Designed to offer users the best Internet experience, RailWire Wi-Fi at Railway stations will be available to any user who has a smartphone with a working mobile connection for KYC considerations.
To use the Wi-Fi, the user has to switch on the Wi-Fi mode on the smartphone and select the RailWire Wi-Fi network. The RailWire homepage automatically appears on the smartphone, where the user has to enter their mobile number to receive a one-time password (OTP) over SMS for verification.
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