Google will stop providing free WiFi at railway stations because data in India is too cheap
- Google has announced that its shutting down its
free WiFiproject with Indian Railways– Google 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.
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.
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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