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

  • Hackers only needed a phone number to track this MP's cellphone

    Tech & Science CBC News
    NDP MP Matthew Dubé looks at a map showing that hackers tracked his movements through his cellphone for days. One marker shows Dubé near Parliament Hill. Another marks the place he lives when he's working in Ottawa. Source
  • High-energy 'ghost particles' can be stopped on way through Earth

    Tech & Science CBC News
    High-energy subatomic particles nicknamed "ghost particles" for their ability to pass through just about anything can be stopped, scientists have confirmed. That doesn't require kryptonite or any other special substance — scientists have observed some high-energy neutrinos being blocked and absorbed by the Earth itself as they zip through the planet from the atmosphere or from deep space, reports the international "IceCube" research collaboration in a new paper published today in the journal…
  • The end of night? Light pollution increasing around the world

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A new study shows the world's nights getting alarmingly brighter. A German-led term reported Wednesday that light pollution is threatening darkness almost everywhere. Satellite observations show Earth's artificially lit outdoor area grew by 2 per cent a year since 2012. Source
  • Facebook apologizes to Mafia boss family after posts removed

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ROME -- Facebook is apologizing to the family of the "boss of bosses" of Italy's Mafia for having removed messages of condolences that flowed in after his death last week. A Facebook spokesperson told The Associated Press the posts on the feed of the son-in-law of Salvatore "Toto" Riina were removed in error, after users complained that they violated Facebook's standards. Source
  • Lofty U.S. Thanksgiving: Astronauts feasting on pouches of turkey

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Astronauts at the International Space Station will feast Thursday on pouches of Thanksgiving turkey. The three Americans, two Russians and one Italian will also rip into single-serving bags of mashed potatoes, candied yams, cornbread stuffing and cranberry-apple dessert. Source
  • Flat-Earther rocket scientist plans to launch over ghost town

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The countdown to launch creeps closer and there’s still plenty for self-taught rocket scientist “Mad” Mike Hughes to do: Last-second modifications to his vessel. Pick up his flight suit. Leave enough food for his four cats — just in case anything happens. Source
  • Cheating death: 4 technologies on the mind of a futurist

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Advances in medical technology are continually shifting the way we understand and treat the human body and mind. Gene-editing, artificial organs and nanotechnology aimed at extending our lifespans promise to enrich the human experience and raise untold ethical dilemmas. Source
  • Good morning, Calgary! It's -8 C or +8 C, depending on which part of the city you're in

    Tech & Science CBC News
    It's a warm, windy morning in Calgary. It's also a calm, cold morning in Calgary. Temperatures varied by more than 16 C at different points across the city Wednesday morning as a chinook rolled in from the west. Source
  • FCC chairman sets out to scrap open internet access rules

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MENLO PARK, Calif. -- The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission set out Tuesday to scrap rules around open internet access, a move that would allow giant cable and telecom companies to throttle broadband speeds and favour their own services if they wish. Source
  • Finns want to look for remains of Arctic meteorite

    Tech & Science CTV News
    COPENHAGEN -- The remains of a blazing meteorite that lit up the dark skies of the Arctic last week are believed scattered near a lake in northern Finland, amateur Finnish astronomers said Wednesday. The Ursa astronomical association says their calculations show the parts would have crashed in a remote area near the Norwegian and Russian borders. Source