Digital India, a campaign initiated by the Modi Government, is rapidly transforming India into a technologically advanced economy. Following the government’s invitation to global companies to invest in the Indian market, US-based social networking site Facebook is set to provide Express Wi-Fi service across railway stations in India.
The company, which is in talks with the Indian Railways and several internet service providers, has already finished a trial across 125 rural zones. For the pilot project, Facebook had bought bandwidth from government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL). Meanwhile, RailTel, the Indian Railway’s communication provider, is looking forward to work with Facebook to extend Wi-Fi facilities to the rural areas falling in the vicinity of the railway stations. With Facebook, it would be possible to provide internet services for up to a radius of 10 kilometres from the connected railway station. With additional access points, the radius can be increased to 25 kilometres in the future.
“Google’s and Facebook’s Wi-Fi services across railway stations and villages will accelerate the Digital India movement.”
RailTel has also partnered with Google to deploy Railwire-branded WiFi hotspots across minimum 100 railway stations by the end of 2016. Almost 2mn people, at 21 railway stations, access free Wi-Fi each month provided under the Google-RailTel Internet initiative. RailTel currently operates an optic fibre-based network of 4,000 connected railway stations.
Soon we’ll be able to use internet while flying in Indian aeroplanes!
According to another news disclosed at an award-giving ceremony of the Air Passenger’ Association of India, Indian flights will soon provide Wi-Fi facilities on board. That means, passengers will be able to use their connected devices like smartphones and laptops while flying. Making Whatsapp calls on board may also be possible.
After deep discussions, the telecom, aviation and home ministries came to the conclusion that security threat won’t be an issue as airlines would be capable of tracking data and voice. So far, Indian carriers did not provide internet services because of the cost factor.