Suburban commuters on seven city railway stations will get free Wi-Fi connectivity in 2017. This means lakhs of suburban commuters will be able to access free internet at good speeds for at least 30 minutes daily.
After half-an-hour, the speed will reduce. Smart phone users will be able to save on their data usage while waiting for their train.
The seven railway stations to be provided with Wi-Fi in first half of 2017 are Virar, Ghatkopar, Wadala, Dombivli, Badlapur, Mulund and Chembur.
“We aim to start Wi-Fi at these stations in 2017,” said a railway official requesting anonymity.
The introduction of Wi-Fi at railway stations is a project announced by railway minister Suresh Prabhu and closely monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Currently, 18 suburban stations have Wi-Fi, including Dadar, Kalyan, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Panvel, Thane, Byculla, Belapur, Vashi and Kurla on the Central Railway.
On the Western Railway, Mumbai Central, Churchgate, Bandra, Andheri, Khar, Dadar, Borivli and Bandra Terminus have Wi-Fi.
To access the Wi-Fi, smartphone users will have to register their mobile number on the private telecom operator’s page. Following this, a one time password (OTP) will be sent to the user via SMS. The OTP must be typed on the page, following which, the user will get access to the service.
The railway was planning to charge commuters for the Wi-Fi after 30 minutes. So, far the payment modalities have not worked out.
With the increase in the number of smartphone users, the availability of free Wi-Fi connectivity was demanded bye citizens. “It’s good that the railways are introducing this service. Globally, free Wi-Fi is available everywhere, including malls, railway stations and restaurants,” said Rohit Desai, Mulund resident.
Stations to get Wi-Fi in 2017: Virar, Ghatkopar, Wadala, Dombivali, Badlapur, Mulund and Chembur.
Currently Wi-Fi available at: Dadar, Kalyan, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Panvel, Thane, Byculla, Belapur, Vashi and Kurla on Central Railway and Churchgate, Bandra, Andheri, Khar, Dadar, Borivli and Bandra Terminus on the Western Railway.