The Indian Railways has planned to roll out free WiFi in 709 Railway Stations by March 2020, Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways said in Parliament. This will cover all A1, A and B category stations. According to the minister, “the Wi-Fi facility is being provided at railway stations without any capital investment from Railway’s side.” That basically means that Google is funding the WiFi rollout for the government. According to details shared with Parliament, WiFi is currently available in 115 railways stations, and has been commissioned in another 103 stations. A full list is available here.

Note that when the project launched, Google said it was planning to cover 400 stations in total. So who’ll do the rest? Note that Google is also planning to launch 200 WiFi hotspots in Pune under the Smart Cities mission. It also has Google Station, a platform for Public WiFi which allows venues and locations to partner with the company to provide high speed Internet.

Here’s what we know about Google’s WiFi rollout with Railtel

December 2016 (source)

  • 100 station (Ooty was the 100th)
  • 15,000 people are connected to the Internet for the first time, via these stations

September 2016 (source)

  • 52 stations
  • 3.5 million users every month
  • Average usage per user of 600 MB on a 30 minute free connection

August 2016 (source)

  • 19 stations
  • 2 million users every month
  • users are “consuming as much as 15 times the data they would otherwise in a full day on their cellular networks”

June 2016 (source 1, and source 2)

  • 19 railway stations
  • More than 1.5 million users
  • ~ 430,000 users per week
  • 15 times more data used than average daily 3G usage
  • 20 times more data usage in tier 2 cities than tier 1 cities
  • Bhubhanesware crossed 100,000 users in a single day once.
  • Average usage is 10 times more data than a 3G pack in a day
  • Mostly usage of infotainment services.
  • Mostly usage of infotainment services.

May 2016 (source)

  • 15 Railway Stations
  • 300,000 users per week

Other public WiFis

– In March 2017, Karnataka government said it will install WiFi in 2500 villages

– Mumbai has around 500 WiFi hotspots

– In May 2016, state owned telco BSNL said it extended its WiFi internet facility across 1,227 location by installing 2,505 Wi-Fi hotspots.
-In April 2016, network providers including Techno Sat Comm and PING Network rolled out public WiFi service in Delhi metro across all stations including 222 trains, 187 stations
– In April 2016: Firefly Networks said it would provide WiFi internet access at Delhi’s Karkardooma Court Complex.
– In February 2016, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) said that it would launchWiFi at 144 major bus stations across the state.
– In January 2016, Ortel Communications introduced free public WiFi hotspots for its broadband subscribers, as a value added service in Bhubaneswar. Ortel said that 30,000 people were using their public WiFi.
– In January 2016, Internet service provider Joister also launched Joispot WiFi, a free public WiFi initiative in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune, with speeds of upto 2Mbps.