NEW DELHI: Indian Railways are soon putting an end to the facility of high-speed free-Internet browsing at railway stations.
If the users at 4,000-plus stations use RailTel’s Wi-Fi service for more than 30 minutes, they will have to start paying. Also, free Wi-Fi for half an hour will come at a speed of 1 mbps.
Users will have to subscribe to a prepaid plan if they want to use higher speed internet. At a press conference held by the Indian Railways on Thursday, it was shared that RailTel had launched its paid service about a month back.
According to this plan, with GST, people have to pay ₹11.8 (RailTel gets ₹10) for 5 GB a day, ₹17.7 (₹15 for RailTel) for 10 GB a day, ₹23.6 for 10 GB for five days, and ₹88.5 (₹75 for RailTel) for 60 GB for 30 days. The prepaid services are now available in 4,000 stations. The remaining stations will go paid by the end of this month.
According to Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel, “We did a detailed trial run of prepaid Wi-Fi at 20 stations in Uttar Pradesh. Based on the response and detailed testing, we launched this plan at 4,000+ stations across the country. We intend to launch the prepaid plans for all the stations with our RailWire Wi-Fi this financial year”.
According to data, during pre-covid-19 times, more than 2.9 crore people were using the service every month. Once the situation normalises and passenger traffic increases at stations, a revenue of ₹10-15 crore a year is expected from the paid Wi-Fi.
After verification through OTP sent via SMS, WiFi at the station premises is accessible to anyone with a smartphone and an active connection. The payment has to be made electronically.