Google recently spoke that it has finally deployed public Wi-Fi hotspot at Dibrugarh railway station in Assam thus marking the completion of its RailTel Wi-Fi project in India. The RaiTel project focused on providing high-speed public Wi-Fi hotspots in 400 of the busiest railway stations in India. The project was kicked off in January 2016 with the first public hotspot launching in Mumbai Central station. In the first year, 100 more stations were added to the list. In the last year and a half, 300 more stations were provided with high-speed public Wi-Fi by Google.
Google is on the work of expansion in India. To accomplish its goal, the tech giant has also kicked off the Next Billion Users initiative, under which it is launching various apps. Following the RailTel initiative is the Google Station project which is going on the similar lines, except this project will be focused on providing public Wi-Fi to places other than stations. The project is already live in Pune.
Google also said that RailTel seeks to establish high-speed internet connectivity in railway stations and beyond, and it plans to do so by a collaborative entrepreneurship model.
Not only this but Google also recently announced its partnership with Larsen & Toubro under which it will work to bring 150 Google Station hotspots to Pune. This is being done as a part of Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited’s Smart City project. The project was initiated on January 9, 2017. IBM and RailTel are also some other names except L&T with whom Google is working with for a contract which is valued at Rs 150 crores.
K. Suri, Director, Partnership, India, Next Billion Users, Google India, said: “With over 8 million monthly unique users connecting to the network, this is a lighthouse project for India and every growing economy that is looking to bring the benefit of connectivity to everyone in their country.”
Google also revealed that it is trying to spread internet to the older age group too. Apart from the usual ages of 19-34 which make up the large chunk of internet users in the country, Google has used the help of on-ground support staff to aid older people in experiencing the internet for the first time. Further, Google also revealed that in a free slot of thirty minutes users consume 350MB of data per session on an average.
It was also brought to attention by Google that over 35% of users on the network are the first time Wi-Fi users and over 50% of users access the internet multiple times in a day.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.