India is seen as one of the most profitable emerging mobile markets in the world, being the 2nd most populous nation in the world. But one of its biggest problems is Internet accessibility, as only 2-4 million households have connections fast enough to stream an HD movie. And a lot of people who live in the city, Mumbai in particular, spend a lot of time in train stations due to the sheer number of people commuting. Google has come up with a temporary solution for those two issues by providing free high-speed Internet at the Mumbai Central Station.
An estimated 100,000 people pass by the station every day and starting today, all of them will have access to WiFi that can stream HD video, which may be a luxury for some. Of course you can play games, read and answer emails, post on social networks, and other things you can do on your mobile devices. All you have to do is click on the RailWire WiFi, follow the simple steps, which includes inputting an Indian mobile number to get an access code. This code will allow you to connect two other devices to the WiFi.
This is just the first in a planned rollout to 100 train stations by the end of this year. They plan to expand this to 400 stations over the next few years. This project is a partnership among Google, Indian Railways, and RailTel. And while the Internet speed will be fast, it will slow down considerably after your first hour to avoid people using this to download or upload heavy files.
The service will be free initially, although Google says that they want it to be self-sustainable. This may mean that at some point they will be charging for the service or that they will be offering it to brands so they can bring their ads to your mobile device. But for now, those living in Mumbai and commuting through the trains, enjoy your high-speed free WiFi.