The Indian Railways has dropped the project to offer Wi-Fi based internet services in trains due to inadequate infrastructure. Union Minister of Communications, Railways, and Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply in Rajya Sabha last week said that the technology to offer Wi-Fi based internet facility was capital intensive with recurring costs in the form of bandwidth charges.
Railways had started Wi-Fi based internet facility as a pilot project in Howrah Rajdhani Express Trains through Satellite Communication Technology. The capital intensive technology and inadequate availability of the internet bandwidth to passengers led to the dropping of the Wi-Fi project.
“As a pilot project, Wi-Fi based internet facility was provided in Howrah Rajdhani Express Trains through Satellite Communication technology. This technology was capital intensive, with recurring costs in the form of bandwidth charges and thus was not cost effective. Also, the internet bandwidth availability to passengers was inadequate. Hence the project was dropped,” said Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw.
Railways currently don’t have access to suitable cost-effective technology for the provision of Wi-Fi based internet services in its trains. Railways currently offers Wi-Fi facility at Railway Stations at 6002 stations with the 101 balance feasible stations to be covered soon.