Google will stop providing free WiFi at railway stations⁠ because data in India is too cheap

Google will stop providing free WiFi at railway stations⁠ because data in India is too cheap
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris. France's competition authority has fined Google 150 million euros ($166 million) for "abusing its dominant position" in the online ad market.Photo/Michel Euler, File)
  • Google has announced that its shutting down its free WiFi project with Indian RailwaysGoogle Station.
  • After India, the project was also launched in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico among others.
  • But as data has gotten too cheap in India, Google finds the project not sustainable.
Google Station – Google’s project in partnership with Indian railways which provided free wifi in stations across India, has come to a halt. In an official blog, Google said that it is no more scalable and sustainable.

In 2015, Google had launched Station with much fanfare, taking the excitement of free data to a whole new level. But with the entrant of new players like Jio, who have made data easily available and cheap in India, the thrill is lost.

“It’s clear that since we started five years ago, getting online has become much simpler and cheaper. Mobile data plans have become more affordable and mobile connectivity is improving globally,” Google wrote.

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Having launched in India, Google took this project to various other countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico among others.

“The challenge of varying technical requirements and infrastructure among our partners across countries has also made it difficult for Station to scale and be sustainable, especially for our partners,” the company wrote in the blogpost.


Google believes that it will be fruitful to put its time and effort in building products for the next billion users.

There have been several initiatives across the country to provide free WiFi to users, over the years. Recently, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had announced a Free WiFi project in Delhi. In 2018, Kerala had rolled out a project with CISCO to make way for a thousand free WiFi spots across the state. Meanwhile, in 2017, Telangana government launched Hy-Fi, to set up WiFi spots across the capital city of Hyderabad.

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