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Google to put up Wi-Fi at 100 railway stations in India

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? Internet? Project Loon? Internet Saarthi?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in India Wednesday to reveal various projects for the country, and of them is providing access to Internet, according to a report by The Indian Express.

Rolling out technology is not an easy thing to do for a diverse country like India, so Google decided to launch free public Wi-Fi at 100 railway stations. The first project, to be done in partnership with RailTel Corporation and Indian Railways, will commence in January at Mumbai Central.

"We have partnered with RailTel and Indian Railways to bring connectivity to 400 railway stations across India," The Indian Express quoted in Pichai in his keynote address. "By 2016-end, we would have done 100 stations. Our team is setting up infrastructure in Mumbai Central and testing it out. We expect it to go live in January and many more stations soon."

In addition, Pichai said that the company is working on Project Loon to provide Internet access to far-flung rural areas. Project Loon is a network of balloons floating at an altitude of 20km above the Earth's surface to transmit high-speed LTE Internet connection.

He noted how the project will help users to work with Google's products in a "meaningful way." Also, this will allow users to "add their voice to the Internet," the report stated.

Google also focuses on bringing more women online since only one-third of Indian women have access to the Internet, Pichai said. The U.S. tech giant has already started a project that teaches women how to use the Internet in 1,000 villages across the country.

Dubbed Internet Saathi, the programme will be extended to cover three lakh villages in three years, according to Pichai.

He also said that Google is hiring more people in India, particularly the engineering operations in its four centres. "Google is looking at hiring people for Bengaluru and Hyderabad centres. We will also build new campus in Hyderabad to build capabilities," Pichai noted.

- Stephen Padilla

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