Mumbai travellers log on as Google starts train station Wi-Fi

MUMBAI, India -- Google Inc. has begun offering free Wi-Fi to Mumbai train passengers in hopes of boosting its role in the Indian market.

See Full Article

Giggling groups of students, bored commuters and snack-shop vendors were all logging on Friday at Mumbai Central Train Station, the first of 400 stations the company plans to eventually reach with the service.

"If my train is leaving, and I need to search, don't know where to go, then immediately I will get the answer," student Divya Patel said excitedly while waiting for a train to her hometown of Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat. "This is very good, and good for everyone."

Free Wi-Fi is rare across India. Most of the country's 300 million Internet users pay for personal access and often rely on slow-loading smartphone connectivity.

With a massive 1.25 billion population in India, including 6 million new Internet users every month, Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft have set sights on expanding in the Indian market. Online retailers Amazon and eBay have also launched services in the country.

Indian also has homegrown online commerce companies but small businesses are still catching on. Fewer than 5 per cent of the 50 million or so small businesses in India have a web page.

With more than 23 million people riding Indian railways every day, Google said free Internet in train stations will give high-speed access that many can't afford. It also hopes to diversify India's user base, given that less than a third of Internet users in India are women, and has been upgrading its services in Hindi and other languages spoken across India.

"Most of India is still not online," Google CEO Sundar Pichai told reporters last month in New Delhi. "We want to bring access to as many people as possible," he said.

For the project, Google teamed up with Indian Railways as well as communications infrastructure provider RailTel.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Premature hippo a happy hit for Ohio zoo after death of Harambe

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CINCINNATI (AP) -- A prematurely born hippo in Ohio has been providing regular doses of happiness for animal lovers, in a show of public affection that's also given an emotional lift to Cincinnati Zoo workers. Source
  • A note of optimism on a day of worries: Bob McDonald

    Tech & Science CBC News
    As Earth Day celebrations blend with the March For Science this weekend, the Smithsonian Institution is hosting and Earth Optimism Summit, designed to inject some hope into what can be a gloomy picture of the future. Source
  • How VR put a human face on a story about elephant poaching in parks

    Tech & Science CBC News
    As a filmmaker drawn to the most visceral forms of cinema, it was probably inevitable that Kathryn Bigelow's high-adrenaline curiosities would lead her to virtual reality. The Oscar-winning director on Friday at the Tribeca Film Festival premiered her first VR experience, The Protectors: Walk in the Rangers' Shoes, an eight-minute, 360-degree plunge into the lives of the Garamba National Park rangers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Source
  • Cities across Canada prepare to join other worldwide in March for Science

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Thousands of scientists worldwide, including those in Canada, are planning to leave their labs and take to the streets today to rail against what they say are mounting attacks against science. The March for Science, which coincides with Earth Day, will take place in more than 500 cities around the world -- with about 18 scheduled in cities across Canada. Source
  • Canadian scientists feel deja vu at March for Science rallies

    Tech & Science CTV News
    It was something like a flashback for Canadian scientists who gathered across the country Saturday to rally in support of their American counterparts, who say they're facing mounting attacks against science. Science advocate Katie Gibbs said she felt like she was returning a favour. Source
  • Canadians march for science from coast to coast

    Tech & Science CTV News
    It was something like a flashback for Canadian scientists who gathered across the country Saturday to rally in support of their American counterparts, who say they're facing mounting attacks against science. Science advocate Katie Gibbs said she felt like she was returning a favour. Source
  • Cities across Canada prepare to join others worldwide in March for Science

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Thousands of scientists worldwide, including those in Canada, are leaving their labs and taking to the streets today to rail against what they say are mounting attacks against science. The March for Science, which coincides with Earth Day, will take place in more than 500 cities around the world -- with about 18 scheduled in cities across Canada. Source
  • March for Science rallies gather across Canada

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Hundreds of scientists gathered on Parliament Hill and in at least 17 other communities across Canada Saturday, rallying in support of their American counterparts who say they're facing mounting attacks against science. Science advocate Katie Gibbs said she felt like she was returning a favour. Source
  • Retired Canadian astronauts weigh in on gruelling recruitment process

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Retired Canadian spaceman Bob Thirsk asks himself a couple of simple questions when sizing up people who tell him they want to become an astronaut. The first is whether he could see himself getting along with the person for six months in orbit and the other is whether he could trust them with his life. Source
  • March for Science events to take place around the globe

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BERLIN - Thousands of people are expected to attend March for Science events around the world to promote the understanding of science and defend it from various attacks, including U.S. government budget cuts. The March for Science was dreamed up at the Women's March on Washington, a day after U.S. Source