Stations in tier-II cities consumed 20 times more data than those in tier-I cities, say Google officials, who add that absolute number of users logging into Google’s WiFi networks in smaller cities has pleasantly surprised them. After Mumbai Central in January, they did a big launch in Bhubaneswar Railway station, which overtook Mumbai Central within a day of the launch (in terms of) consumption. Mumbai Central, one of the busiest stations in the metropolis, had 1,00,000 users of the network per week. Bhubaneswar surpassed that mark in a day.
Similar usage patterns started to emerge in tier-II cities like Patna, Jaipur, Ranchi and so on. In September 2015, Google had tied up with Indian Railways and its telecom arm RailTel to provide high-speed WiFi coverage in 400 stations. RailTel has 45,000 km of fibre optic network across the country that Google is hopping on to for its WiFi network.
More than 1.5 million users have accessed Google and RailTel’s free high-speed WiFi service across 19 railway stations, while being at just 20% of the roll out schedule for this year,1.5 million for wired Internet is not an inconsequential number: it is more subscribers than most ISPs in India get.