Wi-Fi Goes Live At All 15 Railway Stations In Kashmir Valley; Those In Jammu Region Already Covered

Wi-Fi Goes Live At All 15 Railway Stations In Kashmir Valley; Those In Jammu Region Already CoveredA train arriving at Srinagar station.
Snapshot
  • RailTel’s public Wi-Fi, called RailWire, is available at 15 stations — Baramulla, Hamre, Pattan, Mazhom, Budgam, Srinagar, Pampore, Kakapora, Avantipura, Panzgam, Bijbehara, Anantnag, Sadura, Qazigund, Banihal — of the Union Territory of Kashmir.

On World Wi-Fi Day, RailTel has successfully completed the work of providing public Wi-Fi at all 15 Railway stations, including Srinagar.

RailTel’s Public Wi-Fi, being provided under the brand name of RailWire, is available at 15 stations — Baramulla, Hamre, Pattan, Mazhom, Budgam, Srinagar, Pampore, Kakapora, Avantipura, Panzgam, Bijbehara, Anantnag, Sadura, Qazigund, Banihal — of the Union Territory of Kashmir spread out in four district headquarters — Srinagar, Budgaon, Banihal and Qazigund.

Wi-Fi was already available at 15 stations in the Union Territory of Jammu — Kathua, Budhi, Chhan Arorian, Hira Nagar, Ghagwal, Samba, Vijaypur, Bari Brahman, Jammu Tawi, Bajalta, Sangar, Manwal, Ram Nagar, Udhampur and Katra — which are in four district headquarters of Jammu, Sambha, Udhampur and Katwa.

RailTel was entrusted by the Ministry of Railways to provide public Wi-Fi at all the railway stations. The vision was to convert the railway platform into a platform for digital inclusion.

Today, the Wi-Fi Network is spread over 6,000 stations across the
country and this is one of the largest integrated Wi-Fi networks in the world.

The mission is to provide Wi-Fi at all (except the halt ones) stations and only a few stations are left to reach the mark.

In his message on this occasion, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, "Wi-Fi plays a significant role in connecting the people, and is bridging the digital divide between rural and urban India at a rapid pace. Indian Railways, in association with its RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, is playing a key role in bringing high speed Wi-Fi to every corner of the country. Today, on World Wi-Fi Day, I am delighted to announce that Srinagar and 14 stations of the Kashmir Valley have become a part of one the largest integrated public Wi-Fi networks in the world connecting 6000+ stations across the country."

"With this, all the stations of the Valley now have public Wi-Fi. It is a crucial step for Digital India mission and will go a long way in connecting the unconnected. I convey my appreciation to team Indian Railways and RailTel, which has worked tirelessly to achieve this remarkable feat,” he added.

Commending Indian Railways and RailTel for achieving this commendable feat, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said, “Today, Wi-Fi is playing an important role in connecting communities and spurring innovative solutions to help bridge the digital divide. Owing to the pandemic, the need to be virtually connected is higher than ever. Indian Railways is playing
a significant role in bridging the rural divide through the station Wi-Fi network created by its CPSU RailTel."

" I am very happy to note that 15 stations in the Kashmir Valley in Jammu and Kashmir now live with RailWire Wi-Fi. This will be an added amenity for the people of the region and the country. I wish everyone a very Happy World Wi-Fi day,” he added.

Wi-Fi is being provided under the brand name of Railwire — the retail broadband service of RailTel. Passengers use this facility for streaming High Definition (HD) Videos, download of movies, songs, games, and do their office work online.

Designed to offer users the best Internet experience, RailWire Wi-Fi at Railway stations will be available to any user who has a smartphone with working mobile connection for KYC considerations.

Access to Wi-Fi not only connects communities but also opens up a world of opportunity for innovation and growth. This year’s World Wi-Fi Day celebration stresses on the need to accelerate access to affordable Wi-Fi to bridge the Digital Divide.

India has a stark digital divide between urban and rural India. RailWire Wi-Fi at stations is helping connect the unconnected as more 5,000 stations of this public Wi-Fi network are located in rural India with poor connectivity.

Talking about the success of the Wi-Fi network, RailTel CMD Puneet Chawla said, “RailTel has invested a significant amount of capex in building this network and to monetize this, we have launched a paid wi-fi plan across all Wi-Fi stations. Post 30 minutes of free usage @1mbps throughput, users have to purchase prepaid plans for high speed Wi-Fi by paying a very nominal fee. We are also going to monetize the network through
advertisement-based revenue for which we are coming out with an expression of interest shortly.”

RailTel also envisages extending the Wi-Fi/broadband services to nearby villages using its POPs at the already existing station Wi-Fi. Under the mission of the Prime Minister of connecting all villages of India within 1,000 days, RailTel has submitted a proposal to the Department of Telecom, to connect feasible villages of Jharkhand and Maharashtra which is under favourable consideration of the Telecom department.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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