At its Google for India event yesterday, the search engine giant announced that it plans to expand its free public Wi-Fi service, called Google Stations, to other railway stations across the country. The service is currently live in 227 stations across India, and the company plans to expand the service to 22 more stations by the end of this month. Google aims to connect all 400 planned stations in India by the end of 2018.
During the event, Caesar Sengupta, Google’s VP of Next Billion Users initiative (NBU) said that over 7.5 million users were using Google Station to access high speed internet. He further added that the the initiative will soon go beyond railway stations. “Google Station is expanding outside of railway stations, into cities and other countries like Indonesia.” In the official Google Station website, the company states, “We are partnering with CBN and FiberStar to bring high-speed public Wi-Fi to hundreds of locations across Indonesia. And soon, we will be bringing Google Station to even more places around the world. “
To recall, Google began its ambitious initiative to provide free Wi-Fi in railway stations back in 2015. In order to do so, the company partnered with RailTel, which started offering free Wi-Fi at the Bengaluru railway station back in 2012. By December 2016, Google claimed that it was offering the service at 100 railway stations across the country.
Earlier this year, Google announced that it was awarded the Wi-Fi deal for the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCSCL) project. The contract is reportedly valued at Rs 150 crore and Google will work with companies like Larsen & Toubro, IBM and RailTel.