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Google is has announced the launch of free WiFi service in five more stations. This goes in continuation of its project to provide high-speed public WiFi service at 100 Railway stations across India by the end of this year.
These stations include Ujjain, Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati and Allahabad railway stations where the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will soon formally inaugurate the service.
In a statement, Google said that it has been deploying the service over the extensive fibre network of Indian Railway's arm Railtel which provides Internet services as RailWire. The service by Google was first established in Mumbai Central from where they received great results. It was then expanded to stations in Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kacheguda (Hyderabad), Ernakulum Jn (Kochi) and Vishakhapatnam. With these launches, the service is now live and available to users at 15 stations across the country.
Backed by the "phenomenal" response to the service in Mumbai Central, Google will also extend the project to cover key suburban Mumbai stations working with RailTel.
Google will deploy the service in Dadar, Bandra Terminus, Churchgate, Thane, Kalyan, Panvel, Vashi, Kurla, Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, Borivali and a few others, it added.
Gulzar Azad, Google India Head of Access Programs said in a press release, “We're seeing incredible usage of the WiFi service across the stations and over 2.5 lacs users are using the service every week, demonstrating more than 2x growth in less than a month."
Previously, by covering 10 stations, Google provided free internet to 1.5 million people. Google said that the firm is committed to work with Indian Railways and Railtel to deliver high-speed WiFi network that will be available to 10 million Indians by the end of the year, covering 100 of the busiest train stations in India. Eventually, the project will be rolled out to cover 400 train stations across India.
While the service will be free for a reasonable amount of time, the long-term goal is to make this project self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and places, with RailTel and other partners.