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April 3, 2013, 9:54 am UTC
Passengers aboard premium trains will soon enjoy high speed WiFi throughout the train & for their entire journey.
Subsequent to the announcement, the Indian Railways has rolled out free Wi-Fi internet services starting with New Delhi – Howrah Rajdhani Express train. Additionally 50 more trains will soon offer the same privilege within this year. Limited to ultra-special Rajdhani Express for the time being, the decision committee may decide to extend the service to Shatabdi and Duronto express trains as well.
What’s the service & how to avail it? WiFi is essentially a wireless protocol to access internet. Majority of the laptops, tablets & even phones come equipped with WiFi chips that need to first establish a connection with the WiFi module on the train & then the user can surf the internet without being tethered to any LAN cable. Interestingly, the railways have not acted stingy & have opted for high speed 4 Mbps (download) & 512 Kbps (upload) speeds. This is relatively high than the national average of 2 Mbps for ordinary connections & almost at par 3G speeds which are theoretically rated at 7.2 Mbps.
To avail the service, the passenger needs his Government issued ID, Mobile & PNR Number. Upon sending a request, the user will receive a one-time password that needs to be fed in the Log-in screen & the WiFi will be activated. The service is valid for the entire journey. Additionally, the agency responsible for outfitting the coaches with WiFi equipment; Mumbai based Techno Sat Comm (India) Private Ltd; has ensured complete mobility in the entire train. This means, the passenger need not be restricted to one area of the train to avail WiFi. One can move freely in the coach or even the entire train & will still be able to access internet seamlessly.
Indian Railways seems to have adopted technology in its entirety. What began with booking tickets via internet was gradually extended to the mobile phones as well. Subsequently, railways have even gone paperless, with Ticket Checkers accepting SMSes as proofs too. The department now even has accurate positioning information which it provides free-of-cost to passengers who want to know where their trains are.
The Railways always had a very special stature Rajdhani, Duronto & Shatabdi class trains. These are essentially hotels on wheels which provide best of amenities & gourmet meals. Now the passengers will enjoy uninterrupted high speed internet too. Given the fact that Railways have always attempted to lure high-class passengers away from the airlines, this facility, could certainly be a deal-clincher. What do you think?
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