Over 1.5M Indians using free WiFi at Railway Stations : Google
Google has revealed that close to 1.5 million people are using free Wi-Fi at 19 railway stations in India, where the project has gone live. By the end of 2016, Google and RailTel are eyeing 10 million users over 100 stations under the free Wi-Fi scheme.
“On the occasion of the inaugural World Wi-Fi Day by the Wireless Broadband Alliance that aims to provide a platform to help bridge the digital divide, we want to take this moment to celebrate the milestone we have hit with our project with Railtel to provide high speed Wi-Fi at railway stations across India,” Google said in a blog post.
The post adds, “While we’re only at approximately 20% of the roll out schedule for this year, the response has been phenomenal…We saw 100,000 users connect to the network within a week of launch at Mumbai Central and as we started rolling out the network at more stations, we saw exponential jump in the consumption of the network.”
To everyone’s surprise, Google’s data shows that users in tier 2 cities are consuming more data, and usage in Bhubaneshwar overtook Mumbai central within a day of the launch. Google says it is observing similar usage patterns emerge in tier 2 cities like Patna, Jaipur, Vishakhapatnam, and per capita consumption of data in tier 2 cities is far more compared to tier 1 cities.
Google and IAMAI’s data also showed the average consumption per user on the network is 15 times the data they would consume on a 3G pack in a day.
“While the primary usage is focused around infotainment, we are seeing a lot of users in tier 2 cities use the network to look up and apply for jobs online. Bhubaneswar and Pune see lots of students come to the stations to look for up information related to educational courses, exam results, downloading softwares and upgrading their phone apps,” the company noted.
With this project, the global search giant wants to break barriers for millions of Indians who are either currently not online or are using it in limited capacity.