Indian Railways has been in the forefront of implementing Digital Initiatives realizing the dream of Digital India and information technology-oriented passenger applications/amenities like National Train Enquiry System and the Passenger Reservation System have been revolutionizing the passenger travel experience. Now, Indian Railways is forging ahead with providing access to Internet Facility to the passengers through its Wi-Fi Network Connectivity/ facility at Railway Stations.
In a major public friendly measure, 543 stations over Southern Railway Zone have been equipped with free high speed Wi-Fi Internet Connectivity so far making around 5087 Route Kms of Southern Railway covered with OFC (Optical Fibre Cable). Work of making this facility available at 100% Stations (except Halt stations) in Southern Railway has been completed.
Division wise coverage in Southern Railway is:
The no. of users of thesestation Wi-Fi facilities is steadily increasing.
This project has been taken up as a mission of turning Railway Stations into hubs of digital inclusion.
The responsibility to implement this remarkable Digital India initiative has been entrusted to Railway Mini Ratna PSU "RAILTEL". Working tirelessly and continuously, RAILTEL is providing state of the art public Wi-Fi under the brand name of Railwire. RailTel has so far commissioned this facility at 6070+ stations across India.
Southern Railway from time to time keeps launching awareness campaigns for promoting this facility. Through Videos and Messages on Social Media, Regular Announcements, Hoarding and Banners at Stations, Southern Railway has been promoting the usage of Wi-Fi Facility by the Rail Users and Passengers.
This is one of the largest and fastest public Wi-Fi networks of the world. Indian Railways intend to provide Wi-Fi at all (except the halt ones) Railway stations and only few hundred stations are left to reach the mark where work is in progress.
Railway Stations are places where cross-section of the society converges. The quickening pace of modernisation and manifold increase in smart phone usage has triggered a ‘Digital India’ revolution. Envisaged in 2015 Rail Budget, the project of providing free Wi-Fi Internet facility at stations aims to bring free Wi-Fi access to railway stations across India. This includes small stations located in remote villages as well.
Public visiting stations can use this facility for streaming High Definition (HD) Videos, download of movies, songs, games, and do their offices work online.
Students, especially UPSC, RRB, RRC & SSC aspirants from remote locations with limited access to internet, use the station Wi-Fi facilities for their preparations. Passengers are also using this facility for leveraging entertainments on their personal devices. Feedback from Passengers at Major Stations across Southern Railway at Dr. MGR Chennai central, Chennai Egmore, Tambaram, Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchchirappalli, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam Jn indicate excellent connectivity, seamless data access and great facility for the passengers.
The Railwire Wi-Fi facility is very user friendly. To switch on the connection, passengers need to scan Wi-Fi options and choose Railwire. once the browser takes the user to the Railwire portal, it will ask for a mobile number to which a one Time Password (OTP) will be sent. once connected, the Wi-Fi connection will last for 30 minutes. This helps the rail passengers to stay connected and updated with railway information.
The Wi-fi is free for the first 30 min of usage every day at 1 mbps speed. For using the Wi-Fi facility further at higher speed, the user needs to choose a plan with higher speed by paying a nominal fee. The plans vary from Rs. 10/day (for 5 GB @ 34 MBPS) to Rs. 75/30 day (for 60 GB @ 34 MBPS) excluding GST. A number of payment options like net banking, wallet, credit card can be used to purchase plan online.
These initiatives of Indian Railway and RailTel have paved the way for the common Indian Railway Traveller to reap the benefits of Digital Technology, truly ensuring that Digital India is happening where it really matters – on Stations of Indian Railways where the public can have free access to Technology through RailWire’s Wi –fi