wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Google reaches goal of having WiFi in 400 railway stations in India

In 2015, Google unveiled Google Station, a program for WiFi hotspots across many train stations in partnership with Indian Railways and the ISP RailTel. On Thursday, Caesar Sengupta, who heads a wing of the company focusing on emerging markets like India, announced that the program’s goal of covering 400 stations has been completed. The 400th station to be covered is Dibrugarh station in Assam.

“There are now over 8 million people getting online with Google Station every month,” Sengupta said in a blog post announcing the milestone. “On average, people consume 350MB of data per session, roughly the size of a half-hour television episode and over half of the people using Google Station engage in multiple online sessions a day.”

WiFi hotspots in India

Google manages the WiFi network at these 400 stations, while RailTel provides the fibre infrastructure. The company has not taken any significant steps to monetize Google Station, aside from placing ads on the WiFi login captive portal. Google has also partnered with Pune’s municipality to install 150 WiFi hotspots in some of the city’s public spaces.

This development comes as TRAI workshops its Aadhaar login-based WiFi hotspot architecture. WiFi hotspots are highly regulated in India since operators need special permission to resell bandwidth and have to verify the identity — via SMS-based one-time passcodes — of every user who signs up on the network. This essentially means that only large conglomerates, established telcos and government organizations are in a position to set hotspots up. TRAI’s Aadhaar-based architecture aims to resolve this scarcity of hotspots by standardising the captive portal and authentication side of things. This also accommodates the ‘security concerns’ usually displayed by government agencies whenever the prospect of widely available WiFi hotspots is raised.

“TRAI should remove regulatory hurdles that currently prevent the deployment of public WiFi, and then allow the market to discover the best technical and business model,” the Internet Freedom Foundation* said in response to a TRAI consultation note, arguing against such an architecture.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

* The author has interned at the Internet Freedom Foundation during the creation of the cited TRAI response and provided assistance for that process. Nikhil Pahwa, editor and publisher of MediaNama, is a co-founder and current chairman at IFF.

Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



Due to the scale of regulatory and technical challenges, transparency reporting under the IT Rules has gotten off to a rocky start.


Here are possible reasons why Indians are not generating significant IAP revenues despite our download share crossing 30%.


This article addresses the legal and practical ambiguities in understanding the complex crypto ecosystem in India.


It is widely argued that the PDP Bill report seeks to discard the intermediary status of social media platforms but that may not be...


Looking at the definition of health data, it is difficult to verify whether health IDs are covered by the Bill.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ