NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways’ budget announcement to set up wi-fi facility in 400 stations across the country will serve as a big business opportunity for telcos.
Just recently, telcos such as Vodafone, MTS and Tata Tele deployed wi-fi hot spots in several places and experts believe that telecom companies would evince interest in Railway’s wi-fi plans too.
“We believe that the government’s decision to introduce wi-fi in 400 category B stations across the country could provide huge business opportunities to private telecom players. Companies like Ozone, Tata Tele, Vodafone and MTS have been very active over the wi-fi hot spot space and would be equally interested in implementing the government’s plan,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and Group CEO, Greyhound Research.
Tata Tele has made wi-fi services available in more than 1,200 hotspots, and is now expanding services across several cities to increase its revenue from data services. Besides, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which operates in India under the brand MTS India, has partnered with the Indian Railways to set up wi-fi hotspots at Agra, Ahmedabad and Varanasi railway stations by the first quarter of 2015.
The other announcements made by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu were SMS alert services to inform passengers of delay and departure timings for trains, development of a mobile application where passengers can redress their complaints with regard to railways.