As expected, Google in partnership with RailTel has launched a free Wi-Fi service in India, and the first railway station to get this service is Mumbai Central. For now, Google says that passengers will be able to use the RailWire Wi-Fi service free for as much time as they are waiting, but they are likely to “notice a drop in speed after their first hour on the network.” Let’s take a look at how one can connect to the free RailWire Wi-Fi network.
While one can connect their smartphones, laptops or tablets to the RailWire Wi-Fi netwok, one needs an active Indian mobile phone number. You will need to enter this phone number every time you try to connect a device to the Wi-Fi network.
First, head over to the Wi-Fi settings on your smartphone, tablet or laptop and select the ‘RailWire’ network. The next step is to open a browser and enter the URL – railwire.co.in – where you will be prompted to enter a mobile phone number. Key in your phone number, and click on Receive SMS.
You will soon receive an SMS on your mobile with a four digit OTP (one-time password) code. Enter this unique code in your Wi-Fi login screen and click on Done. A few seconds later you will have connected to the RailWire Wi-Fi network and you will be able to enjoy the service for free.
Google hasn’t divulged the official speed that will be available for passengers at the railway station. “Though we’re not going to put a number on it, the thing we’re most excited about with this service is the speed,” Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Programs in India wrote on the Google blog. The focus, Azad writes, is to offer Internet connectivity to people that is fast enough to stream an HD movie.
Mumbai Central is the first railway station in India to get Google and RaiTel’s RailWire Wi-Fi network. Google is planning on rolling out the network in 100 railway stations across the country, with Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur and Ranchi next in line.