Coming soon: 1 GBPS Wi-Fi at a Mumbai railway station near you

In the next few days, select railway stations across Mumbai will get Internet speeds as high as 1 GBPS (Gigabyte Per Second) for free, for a certain amount of time

In the next few days, select railway stations across Mumbai will get Internet speeds as high as 1 GBPS (Gigabyte Per Second) for free, for a certain amount of time. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched the high-speed Wi-Fi connection at Mumbai Central station yesterday. Google is providing the service.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launches the app. MP Arvind Sawant (left) looks on. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launches the app. MP Arvind Sawant (left) looks on. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

“The speed would be 1 GBPS for the first one hour, after which it would come down to 512 MBPS (Megabyte Per Second). The server would take note of a one-time password that will be fed into the ‘Railwire Wi-Fi’ from a particular phone number. It would then be available for the next 24 hours,” said an official from Railtel, the organisation of Indian Railways responsible for setting up the Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Railtel has chosen Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra Terminus, Borivli, on Western Railway (WR) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Dadar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Thane, Kalyan and Panvel on the Central Railway (CR).

Works well
When mid-day checked the speed at Mumbai Central station, it was good since several applications could be quickly updated, apart from downloading photographs. On the first day itself, around 600 people registered onto the Wi-Fi, but officials said its success would be determined only after a week or so when sufficient data could be collected.

At any given point of time, 50,000 people can log into the Wi-Fi after which the bandwidth slows down. “Such high speed Wi-Fi is not available anywhere in the world. By the end of this year, 100 stations shall get Wi-Fi across India,” said Suresh Prabhu said at the launch yesterday.

Somaiyya springs a surprise
A surprise addition to the events of the evening was an announcement by MP Kirit Somaiyya. He introduced Neelima Deshpande, a Pune-based woman who runs a company called Ramaa Activities.

Suresh Prabhu and Kirit Somaiyya (right)
Suresh Prabhu and Kirit Somaiyya (right)

“She has promised to provide Wi-Fi to Mulund and Borivli stations,” Somaiyya told Suresh Prabhu. Speaking to mid-day, Deshpande said “It was a surprise for me as well when I was called on the dais. The speed provided by Google is slow and we can surely give them a fight.” Deshpande claims her company can provide speed up to 40 MBPS for free in the first 15 minutes.

600
The estimated number of people, who used the Wi-Fi services yesterday

50,000
The maximum number of people, who can use the Wi-Fi at high speed

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