Delhi metro users will soon get free high-speed WiFi service across all stations including 222 trains, 187 stations through a partnership between Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRCL), and network providers including Techno Sat Comm and PING Network. The free WiFi service is expected to be rolled in the second half of this year; it will be extended to metro station in NCR regions as well.
A spokesperson from PING Network told us that the WiFi service has no limitation regarding data usage or connection duration. Once a user connects to the WiFi, he/she is free to use the network whenever needed at both trains and stations. There are no data charges at any point of time and users have an open internet access.
App based service: The WiFi service is designed to deliver a minimum speed of 50 Mbps. Commuters will need to download a mobile app to access the free service. The app is designed to display location status, approach, and destination stations on a real-time basis and help navigate between different lines.
Techno Sat is an enterprise network solutions provider; it has already deployed a pilot WiFi service on the Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express earlier. PING Network is another broadcast network solution provider that is involved in the Delhi metro WiFi project.
RailTel and DMRCL WiFi service: In January, the DMRCL had rolled out free WiFi services at Rajiv Chow and Kashmere gate metro stations through a partnership with RailTel. However, the service was limited to just 30 minutes per day for each user. Post 30 minutes of usage, a commuter had to pay for the service.
Recent free WiFi initiatives
Paytm WiFi: This week, mobile payments and commerce company Paytm had started offering free WiFi service as a pilot project. The service is currently live at Noida Sector 18 (near metro). Paytm says that the service is limited to 15 minutes every day per user.
Ola WiFi: This month, online cab aggregator Ola had launched ‘Ola WiFi’, a WiFi service in Ola cabs, which will let Ola users connect to it automatically, without having to enter credentials. Ola claims that users with a ‘one time authentication’ can use Ola WiFi without having to login into the network for subsequent rides.
BSNL WiFi: This month, state run telco BSNL added 50 new WiFi hotspot locations in the country across its circles. BSNL announced in January that it plans to set up around 40,000 WiFi hotpsots across the country to make up for the lack of its own 4G services. However BSNL’s WiFi service is subjected to data charges.
Google and RailTel: Last week, Google and RailTel has extended their high speed free WiFi service to nine cities. Google had kickstarted the project with RailTel earlier in January in Mumbai Central station. It said that more than 100,000 people are already logging into the high-speed WiFi every week.
KSRTC Free WiFi: In February, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) said that it would launch WiFi at 144 major bus stations across the state. This includes four bus stations in Bangalore currently undergoing the pilot survey, which will be extended to 14 bus stations in the city eventually.
Read more on our coverage on public WiFi services here.