It’s something we’ve constantly been hearing since 2006 that the Indian Railways will provide free WiFi at stations across India, and here’s the latest attempt to give public access to Internet. Sistema Shyam will soon provide Wi-Fi access for travelers at Varanasi, Ahmedabad, Agra, Mumbai CST, Howrah and Secunderabad, reports the Economic Times.
It’s worth remembering that Sistema, which operates under the MTS brand in India, had partnered with the Indian Railways to set up WiFi hotspots at Agra, Ahmedabad & Varanasi railway stations by the first quarter of 2015, in November last year. Looks like they’re keeping their word, in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative.
To begin with, MTS will offer Wi-Fi services free for 30 minutes to gauge the response at these stations and later launch more commercial operations. The report mentioned that after activating WiFi on their devices, users will be taken to a page christened Indian Railways MTS WiFi, from where they can go online. Interestingly the report also mentions that the company had concluded all regulatory formalities for acquiring a pan-India category-A ISP permit. It’s also worth noting that MTS India received unified licenses for the eight circles it had won in the March 2013. Unified licenses allow telcos to offer any form of communication (telephone, Internet, broadband and others) through a single license and also delinks spectrum from future licenses.
MTS India also pivoted its focus from being primarily a dongle driven data company to a WiFi solutions provider with its launch of Homespot Instant WiFi solution. The solution comes with MTS’ MBlaze Ultra dongle which works with a plug and play mechanism and can provide high speed broadband access to five users simultaneously including smartphone users.
Earlier this week, FireFly Networks, a joint venture between India’s largest telecom operators Airtel and Vodafone, deployed WiFi services on the premises of the Supreme Court of India. Users opting on FireFly’s WiFi services for the complimentary free service will be access the network for 20 minutes with a data limit of 100 Mb. After consuming the Complimentary Wi-Fi pack, subscriber can purchase other WiFi packs i.e. Rs 20 for 30 minutes, Rs 30 for 60 minutes and Rs. 50 for 120 minutes.