RailTel, the privatised technology company once part of Indian Railways, is to launch a raft of new video content to some of its new cable customers. Famous for adding, and operating, fast, free WiFi at over 6,100 stations, RailTel also has a fixed line user base under its RailWire brand. These customers will now be offered a total of 13 TV and film platforms.
The details regarding pricing and availability of the service have not yet been made public, nor is it yet clear if the services will later become available to rail passengers.
RailWire operates in over 6,000 mainly rural communities across the sub-continent. The services are delivered by new cable to customers living near the Indian Rail networks and take advantage of IR’s 61,000km fibre-optic cable network.
In early 2021, RailTel relaunched itself as a major new telecoms provider in India when it revealed plans to offer high-speed broadband and WiFi services in remote villages. The company said it would use its vast fibre-optic network to facilitate fast connections in India’s rural hinterland.
Passengers at any of the 6,100 stations that RailTel covers have the choice of 30 minutes of free WiFi per day at 1Mbps, or they can upgrade the service to around 34Mbps, for a “small fee”. The charges are set at: Rs10 for 5GB per day, Rs15 for 10GB per day, or Rs20 for 10 GB over five days. The maximum package includes 60GB for 30 days and costs Rs70.
RailTel has been busy expanding its offering to include providing integrated telecoms services to the wider public and government organisations. This move, the company argues, is helping to speed up the Indian Prime Minister’s WiFi expansion project – aimed at boosting broadband connectivity nationwide.
According to the railway company it is helping facilitate quicker coverage of many remote villages and small towns, which no longer have to wait for the expensive construction of new masts or laying of new cables. RailTel insists it has no plans to enter the voice communications market.
RailTel is also rolling out a 4G-based train collision avoidance system for Indian Railways. This is designed to automatically stop any train that overshoots a red signal or to lower the train’s speed to the mandated limit. This system will see an LTE mobile communication corridor built along the railway tracks. Towers will be added at a distance of 8km - 10km. According to RailTel, these masts will also be used to host 5G network equipment for private telecoms operators.
Track-side connectivity and on-board WiFi services will be the main subjects of BWCS’s WiFi on Trains Conference in October, where TfL will be one of the main presenters (www.Traincomms.com ).
The Full Programme is Available now at the website, where you can also sign up for our Free WiFi on Trains News Service (www.Traincomms.com ).
Or, to discuss exhibiting at the conference, please contact Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com
This year’s Conference is sponsored by Westermo, Nomad, GlobalReach Technology and RADWIN
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