Starting Monday, lakhs of commuters using the suburban railway network will be able to access free Wi-Fi service at seven stations — four Western and three Central. While the service can be accessed at its highest speed for the first 30 minutes, following which the speed will decrease.
Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu will inaugurate the service for Churchgate, Dadar (Western/Central), Bandra, Bandra Terminus, Khar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and Kalyan on Monday.
To access this service, smartphone users will have to register their mobile numbers on the private telecom operator’s page. Following which they will receive a one-time password (OTP) via SMS. This OTP needs to be entered on the login page following which a smartphone user will be granted permission to use free Wi-Fi for 30minutes. However, the speed will dwindle once the user passes the 30-minute mark.
Though the railways intend to charge users for using the service upon consumption of the free bandwidth, the authorities are yet to work out the payment modalities. “So far, we are not charging users for Wi-Fi, but the speed will reduce,” said a railway official, requesting anonymity.
Stating that Wi-Fi at railway stations is the need of the hour, Khar resident Rohit Desi said, “It’s good that the railways are adding this service. Globally, free Wi-Fi is available everywhere, including malls, railway stations and restaurants. I’m glad that it’s happening here as well.”
Prabhu will also inaugurate an air-conditioned dormitory at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and foot-over-bridges (FOBs) at Reay Road, Kings Circle, Kurla (Kasaiwada), Chembur, Karjat and Shahad. The new station building at Borivli, equipped with a booking counter, and a deck area at Goregaon (north-end), with ticketing facility, will allow faster dispersal of commuters.