Radio taxi operator GoCarz has launched its operations in New Delhi. Whats interesting here though, is that GoCarz is offering free in-car WiFi service to its customers along with other goodies like a free newspaper and a bottle of water. The service is currently available only in New Delhi region and NCR region but it is expected t0 be available in other cities in the coming future. Cabs can be booked by calling 45458585 or by filling up an online form with requisite details.
Mehak Gogia, Marketing Head, Gocarz however claimed that the Wi-Fi speeds offered are “as good as connecting via LAN or a dongle” and all the bandwidth charges are taken care of by GoCarz. Elaborating on how the system works, he added that each cab has a digital tariff rendering system with built-in WiFi that operates through an username and password which is shared by the driver to the customer.
Unanswered Questions: There are several unanswered questions surrounding this service such as which Internet service provider has GoCarz partnered with to offer this service, whether the customers require any personal identification card to access the Internet (India’s cyber cafe regulations), what would be the Internet speeds, and whether there is a data cap attached to the service among others.
Fares: GoCarz’s fare structure is also quite different compared to other radio taxi operators. There is a minimum fare of Rs 100 (Non-AC) or Rs 120 (AC) along with a convenience charge of Rs 50. In comparison, Meru Cabs charges one Rs 20 for the first kilometer and Rs 20/km after that. Therefore, GoCarz might work out cheaper on long distances (>5 km), it could prove to be atrociously pricy for short distances.
In February 2011, MTS (Shyam Sistema) had tied up with Meru Cabs to offer passengers free data card connectivity on the move. The service was available in Delhi and it was expected to roll out to other cities including Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. To access this service, customers would’ve to just ask the cab driver for an MBlaze dongle for free surfing along with ‘unlimited data download’, although it was no information to indicate if there was any fair usage policy bundled with service.