BHUBANESWAR: Come Sunday and the wait for trains at Bhubaneswar Railway Station will not be a monotonous affair anymore. The city station is all set to become the second in the country to offer wi-fi services when Union Minister Suresh Prabu launches Google’s free service as part of Indian Railway’s high speed Internet network for rail users.
Mumbai Central is the first station to offer free wi-fi service under the Digital India initiative of the Centre. Indian Railways has proposed to launch free Internet services to passengers at 100 busiest stations by the end of this year.
Besides Bhubaneswar, trial-runs are underway at Jaipur, Patna, Ranchi, Ernakulum, Allahabad, Lucknow and Guwahati.
Railtel, a PSU under Indian Railway, has collaborated with Google for providing free wi-fi service at the stations. The Ministry has plans to roll out the service at 400 stations across the country covering all major rail premises.
Railway sources said Railtel has laid out pan-India optic fibre network exclusively on railway track. So far, over 45,000 km of optic fibre networks have been rolled out across the country which is being used by Google for the wi-fi services.
The free Internet services will be available to any user possessing a smartphone. Trial run of the service was underway for some time. Once rolled out, rail users would be able to stream high definition videos.
The Railtel network is equipped for wide coverage and high capacity usage unlike other wi-fi hotspots which offer connectivity over a limited area. As per arrangement, the PSU is the Internet service provider, while Google provides the wireless area networks (WAN) and sets up the points of access at platforms.