In Business Model, Internet Access, Mobile, News, Spectrum

Indian Railways and Google will create a network of free Wi-Fi hotspots at 400 railway stations across the country. As planned, the hotspot access will be provided free of cost after validation by mobile phone text message. 

Currently, the download speeds are somewhere in the 7 Mbps range while upload speeds are in 5 Mbps range. According to reports, the service will allow users to access free Internet at high speeds for first 34 minutes and at reduced speed will reduce after the first 34 minutes.

Indian Railways is currently providing Wi-Fi connectivity in moving trains for select routes like Rajdhani express using satellite communication technology

In a second phase of the deployment, Google will provide Wi-Fi on board moving trains across India.

There is some speculation about what larger vision Google Fiber might have, such as whether Google Fiber might try and replicate the gigabit fixed network in India that it is building in many U.S. cities.

For some of us, that seems less likely than that Google will use the railway backbone as the rudiments of a national backhaul infrastructure. That would be helpful were Google to launch additional public hotspots in urban areas, which, it should be noted, tend to be connected by rail rights of way.

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