To transform into the hub of Digital inclusion, RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, started providing free high-speed Wi-Fi at the Railway stations.
Currently, 5500+ stations across the country have free Wi-Fi and the mission is to provide Wi-Fi at all Railway stations (except the halt stations). The Wi-Fi is being provided under the brand name of Railwire- the retail broadband service of RailTel.
RailWire is available as fast and free Wi-Fi service at Railway stations and is available as Broadband services for subscription at home and business establishments at a nominal tariff. The response to this Wi-Fi network has been phenomenal.
Total 74 stations of Nagpur Division (Central Railway) total. We have done a number of surveys with users and found that the majority of the people use the station Wi-Fi to download movies/videos/study materials or to use social media. We have come across a number of heartwarming stories where the station Wi-Fi has helped people achieve their dreams or proved to be a helpful tool to ease their day to day issues.
The most encouraging story was of the porter from Ernakulam station who cleared the Kerala Public Service exam by studying using the Railwire Wi-Fi at the station. Not only Kerala, but Railwire Wi-Fi at stations is bringing a positive impact on people’s lives across the country.
An auto driver coming to station to download study material for her son and learning new things which enables her to help her son with his studies, a farmer using station wifi to learn new techniques of farming for better productivity, a fashion designer coming to station to upload her designs online or a cafeteria manager tracking train timing to prepare food according to rush at the station are only few examples.
Also, people in rural areas are often deprived of high-speed internet due to a lack of telecom infrastructure. Free RailWire Wi-Fi at rural stations is bridging the digital gap for the users.
The journey started in January 2016 from the financial capital of India – Mumbai Central station. And in a span of 46 months, RailTel has successfully provided Wi-Fi at 5500+ stations across the country. Along the journey, RailTel has roped in partners like Google, Tata Trust, PGCIL for some parts of the project and also got funding from the Department of Telecom USOF for 200 stations.
How to use the Wi-Fi
To use the Wi-Fi at the station the user has to switch on the Wi-Fi mode on the smartphone and select the RailWire Wi-Fi network. The RailWire homepage automatically appears on the smartphone. The user has to enter his or her mobile number on this homepage. The user will get a one-time password (OTP) in the form of SMS in the message box which has to be entered on the home page of RailWire. After entering OTP Users will be able to access high-speed internet & can start internet browsing.
(With inputs from thelivenagpur)