July 5: Google has successfully met its target of enabling free Wi-Fi across 400 railway stations in India, but the company is not putting a rest to its Wi-Fi plans in the country. The tech behemoth is now planning to expand its Wi-Fi services to other spots like malls, cafes, universities and the likes.
Google is said to be in talks with telecom operators, internet service providers, and state governments to flourish its Wi-Fi project. K Suri, director, partnerships, India (Next Billion Users) at Google India, has been quoted by reports as saying that Google was engaging with everyone who has come forward with an interest in public Wi-Fi ecosystem.
Acknowledging the reluctance of people in paying for public W-Fi services, he said that public Wi-Fi services were still at a nascent stage in the country. Accordingly, Google is eyeing to make its Wi-Fi services sustainable with the inclusion of monetization options through advertisements.
He also added that Google was looking for further options with its existing Wi-Fi services at the railway station, hinting at a possible expansion of the service to other railway stations in the country. Reports have also surfaced recently that Google had tied up with RailTel and Larsen & Turbo to setup 150 Wi-Fi hotspots in the city of Pune alone.
According to stats, Google Wi-Fi is being used by over 8 million users on a daily basis. Apart from Google, telecom players like Airtel, Vodafone, Jio etc. are also keen on deploying hotspots to ease out the traffic over mobile network. The government too is eyeing for a public Wi-Fi ecosystem in the country with the ‘Public Open Wi-Fi’ project that would offer cheap Wi-Fi services across tier-2 and tier-3 towns in India.