Google to bring free high-speed Wi-Fi to over 400 Indian train stations

Google has teamed up with RailTel Corporation of India to bring free Wi-Fi hotspots to more than 400 train stations.

The state-run company already has a fiber network in place across the country, and the new venture - which goes under the name of Project Nilgiri - is set to roll out over the next four months.

TelecomTalk reports that hotspots will enable travellers to get online with a high-speed connection free of charge for half an hour, and then speeds will be reduced. SMS verification will be used to provide web users with the necessary passwords, and screenshots of the portal that will be used to get online have also leaked.

While wireless connectivity is not unknown at Indian train stations, Google's latest project will help to spread things further. While the initial phase of Project Nilgiri will see Wi-Fi hotspots popping up in stations, the second phase will expand onto trains so travellers will be able to get online in transit.

Speaking to TelecomTalk, in insider said: "The Indian Railways has currently undertaken a pilot project in combination with Google under the code name of Project Nilgiri under which in phase 1 we will be setting up Wi-Fi hotspots at approximately 400 stations across India over a span of 4 months from now.

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"Wi-Fi connectivity will be made available for free to passengers after mobile number verification through a one-time password sent over SMS. First 30 minutes will be high speed after which speed will be reduced but connectivity will still continue."

The screengrab of the hotpot portal doesn’t reveal a great deal, but the security certificate confirms that it is connected to Google. Google is yet to comment on the hotspot deal, but with roll out due to start soon, official word should not be far off.

Photo credit: Joe Ravi / Shutterstock