400 railways stations in India now have Google’s free WiFi

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  • The project was launched back in 2015.
  • As of now, the project provides free internet connectivity to 400 railway stations in India.
  • Facebook’s ExpressWiFi service is similar to this.
As of June 2018, the Search giant Google provides free public WiFi services to 400 Indian railway stations, and over 8 million people are using this service to access the Internet every year.

The project, which was first announced in the year 2015, aimed to provide stable internet connectivity and hence improve the wireless infrastructure of the country.

The project that delivers internet to hundreds of railway station was brought into action in collaboration with RailTel, a public sector telecom infrastructure provider, and the Indian Railways.

Google also has a similar project operational in Mexico and is planning to expand it to more countries. The company announced its plans to start the Google Station Internet project in Indonesian recently.

Providing WiFi in the country helps bring more people online, but given that they’ll likely head to Google only, it also benefits the company. Its advertising driven revenue model is based on acquiring user data and learning how users behave on the Internet. So, by connecting more users in India, Google stands to improve its chances of monetising one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

Google isn’t the only one trying to provide such services though. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has also taken a few shots at the country. While its efforts with Free Basics were banned by India’s regulators, Facebook currently collaborates with Airtel for a service called “ExpressWiFi”.

This is an app that you can download on your smartphone, which lets you buy data packs for high speed data. Facebook is collaborating with businesses to set up hotspots, which can be accessed through these hotspots.
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