Railways has successfully completed the work of providing free public Wi-Fi at 5,500 stations across the country. Mahua Milan Railway Station of East Central Railway zone, became the 5,500th station in the country to have free public Wi-Fi. This is a unique initiative as this Wi-Fi network is one of the largest Wi-Fi networks of the world.
To transform the railway stations into the hub of Digital inclusion, Indian Railways mandated RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, to provide free high-speed Wi-Fi at the Railway stations. The journey started in January 2016 from the financial capital of India – Mumbai Central station and in a span of 46 months Railways has successfully provided Wi-Fi at 5,500 stations across the country. The mission is to provide Wi-Fi at all Railway stations (except the halt ones). Along the journey, RailTel has roped in partners like Google, Tata Trust, PGCIL for some parts of the project and also got funding from Department of Telecom USOF for 200 stations. The Wi-Fi is being provided under the brand name of RailWire.
The month of October 2019 saw total 1.5 crores of user logins in ‘RailWire’ Wi-Fi services across all stations consuming 10,242 TB of data. Free access to high speed Wi-Fi will help in bridging the digital divide between rural and urban India. Students using their waiting time to download study materials, vendors using the service for digital payment transactions, daily passengers using their time at stations learning new skill or surfing net- the free Wi-Fi has been a boon to these people who otherwise suffer from poor connectivity issues.
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. To use the Wi-Fi the user has to switch on the Wi-Fi mode on the smartphone and select the RailWire Wi-Fi network. The RailWire homepage automatically appears on the smartphone. The user has to enter his or her mobile number on this homepage. The user will get one-time password (OTP) in form of SMS in the message box which has to be entered in the home page of RailWire. After entering OTP Users will be able to access high speed internet & can start internet browsing.