Free Wi-fi goes live at 5,500 Railway Stations

Railways has successfully completed the work of providing free public Wi-Fi at 5500 stations across the country. Mahua Milan Railway Station of East Central Railway zone, became the 5500th station in the country to have free public Wi-Fi. This is a unique initiative as this Wi-Fi network is one of the largest Wi-Fi networks of the world.

To transform the Railway stations into the hub of Digital inclusion, Indian Railways mandated RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, to provide free high-speed Wi-Fi at the Railway stations. The journey started in January 2016 from the financial capital of India – Mumbai Central station and in a span of 46 months Railways has successfully provided Wi-Fi at 5500 stations across the country.

The mission is to provide Wi-Fi at all Railway stations (except the halt ones). Along the journey, RailTel has roped in partners like Google, Tata Trust, PGCIL for some parts of the project and also got funding from Department of Telecom USOF for 200 stations. The Wi-Fi is being provided under the brand name of RailWire.

The month of October 2019 saw total 1.5 crores of user logins in ‘RailWire’ Wi-Fi services across all stations consuming 10242 TB of data. Free access to high speed Wi-Fi will help in bridging the digital divide between rural and urban India. Students using their waiting time to download study materials, vendors using the service for digital payment transactions, daily passengers using their time at stations learning new skill or surfing net- the free Wi-Fi has been a boon to these people who otherwise suffer from poor connectivity issues.

Already the North Central Railway (NCR) has launched its e-office on. The e-office, a digital workplace, has been developed by RailTel, an Indian railway owned PSU, for digitising current paper working in the entire Indian Railways. 

This digital workplace is also aimed towards enhanced transparency, increased accountability, assured data integrity and security, besides a positive change in work culture and saving of time as well as human resources. The e-office in the first phase, NCR headquarters and Jhansi division are to be covered, while Agra and Allahabad divisions shall be covered in Phase-II.

The process for its implementation in NCR started in April 2019 and since then registration of all 1087 users of NCR, rounds of training, creation of digital signatures, creation of files, numbering system etc. were done in a phased manner. 

The e-office was a giant leap towards digitising and achieving greater efficiency and to usher in a paper-less to save not only the operational cost but also promote a green way of working. The option of multiple input tools like digital writing pad etc should also be given in e-office for increased work efficiency.

Coming back to RailWire Wi-FI, I has been designed to offer users the best Internet experience, RailWire Wi-Fi at Railway stations will be available to any user who has a smartphone with working mobile connection for KYC considerations. To use the Wi-Fi the user has to switch on the Wi-Fi mode on the smartphone and select the RailWire Wi-Fi network. The RailWire homepage automatically appears on the smartphone. The user has to enter his or her mobile number on this homepage.

The user will get one-time password (OTP) in form of SMS in the message box which has to be entered in the home page of RailWire. After entering OTP Users will be able to access high speed internet & can start internet browsing. Little doubt that the current buzz word in Indian Railways is RailWire Wi-Fi.