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Google Station expands beyond rail stations to bring citywide WiFi to Pune, India


Google Station has brought WiFi internet connectivity to a plethora of rail stations over the last few years, but now the Mountain View company has secured a deal to bring fast public WiFi to other public places in India. Soon, the city of Pune will be the first city to receive “citywide” WiFi thanks to a new consortium formed between Google, Larsen & Toubro, RailTel, and IBM…

Pune’s “Smart City Development Corporation” wants to put public WiFi everywhere in the city of Pune, and has enlisted the four companies in a deal worth Rs 1500 million (or roughly $22,502,250).

Google’s role is of course implementing the Google Station platform, which basically provides the tools for build out the WiFi networks themselves and their management. The platform has powered the WiFi networks at a variety of rail stations up to this point, but is now expanding to other locations that have a lot of foot traffic in Pune, like universities and cafes.

“The plan is to integrate all public places on a single platform to aggregate WiFi hotspots that will allow access with one-time authentication,” Pune Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar told ET. According to the publication, Kumar also said that 15-20% of the revenue generated through the network will be shared with the Pune Smart City Development Corporation (PSCSCL).

Google will also be instrumental in the monetization of the platform through advertisements, Srinivasan Ramamurthy from Larsen & Toubro (an IT giant in India) told ET News.

“One of the important things that we are doing is Wi-Fi, and then we are also establishing the emergency call box and public drop box and environmental sensors…We are working with RailTel for connectivity and Google for putting advertisements,” Ramamurthy said. “Google will help us in monetization through advertisements.”

“With the goal of creating a great Internet for the next billion users, we have found that making high-quality public Wi-Fi more easily accessible can play a critical role in bringing the benefits of Internet to millions of Indians,” a Google spokesperson told Mashable India in a statement.

As of December 2016, Google’s public Wi-Fi service covers over 100 railway stations across India.

(Image via Google)

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.