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A history of Wi-Fi and Indian Railways: from 2006 to Infinity (maybe)

"Hey Prabhu! Yeh Kaise Hoga?" Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu uttered this seemingly innocuous line during his Railway Budget speech yesterday. However, this just about perfectly sums up the Indian Government's comedy of errors with respect to introducing Wi-Fi service at railway stations and trains across the country. The Minister mentioned during his budget presentation that Wi-Fi service will be introduced at 400 A and A1 category railway stations, and the service will also be extended to category B stations. His predecessor D. V. Sadananda Gowda had also mentioned that Wi-Fi service will be provided at A and A1 category stations, during last year's Railway Budget. A timeline of plans for Wi-Fi service at railway stations & on trains: - Back in 2006, RailTel's then AGM (Business Development & Public Relations) Shailesh Tiwari had mentioned in an interview that they had plans to create Wi-Fi hotspots at more than 500 stations and extend services to areas near the stations as well. Over 8 years have passed since then and RailTel and Indian Railways have managed to introduce Wi-Fi at a total of 2 stations: Bangalore and Delhi. - Wi-Fi service had been introduced on a pilot basis on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express, in January 2009. Techno Sat Comm, the company providing the service, had plans to provide the service on 200 trains over the next five years and invest Rs 700 crore for the same. What's Techno Sat Comm up to these days? - In June 2009, Zylog Systems India had announced plans of introducing wireless broadband service on…

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