Search giant Google has installed 150 Google Station hotspots in Pune to provide free Wi-Fi service. The company had bagged $24 million investment to install WiFi hotspots across the city through a special project vehicle formed by Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCSCL).
Google has collaborated with Larsen & Toubro, IBM, and RailTel for offering free Wi-Fi service to about four million people at various locations in the city.
The Wi-Fi hotspots have been set up at gardens, hospitals, police stations, and offices within the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limit. In September 2015, RailTel corporation partnered with Google for the project to install Wi-Fi service across railways stations in the country.
So far, Google and RailTel have powered over 270 railway stations with free Wi-Fi. This is for the first time, the joint venture is providing public Wi-Fi hotspots outside railway premises.
A year ago, they facilitated free wireless Internet connectivity at Mumbai central station. In 2016, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai had announced a proposal to introduce free Wi-Fi hotspots at 100 railway stations.
Now, the joint venture eyes to expand it to 400 railway stations.
Prior to the announcement, in December 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Two months ago, the Karnataka government kicked-off a similar kind of project with Honeycomb and D-VoiS to install Wi-Fi facilities in all gram panchayats across the state. The Wi-Fi services is slated to cover up to a range of 1 kilometer from the Panchayat office.
Of late, PMC has been partnering several companies for the smart city project. For instance, global bicycle sharing majors such as Ofo and Mobike had partnered with the municipal body to create the necessary infrastructure for proper cycle tracks in the Oxford of the East.
Mobility has become a major civic issue in Pune as facilities for public commuting have not kept pace with the city’s growth.
The development was first reported by Hindustan Times via IANS.