Google open Wi-Fi to reach Indian malls, universities to connect Next Billion users

Early in the year, in a bid to provide internet connectivity beyond railway stations, it had partnered with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to bring 150 Google Station hotspots to Pune, which was part of the Pune Smart City Project.
The Mountain View tech giant, Google, is all set to widen its horizons by providing Wi-Fi services in public places such as malls, cafes, and universities. Early in the year, in a bid to provide internet connectivity beyond railway stations, it had partnered with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to bring 150 Google Station hotspots to Pune, which was part of the Pune Smart City Project.

In September 2016, Google had rolled out free Wi-Fi services across railway stations in India in collaboration with the Indian Railways and RailTel, which focuses on providing broadband and VPN services at railway stations. With the success of the endeavor – given that it has connected 400 railway stations across the country with Wi-Fi and covers 8 million people every month – the US-based company expanded the service to Mexico and Indonesia.

In order to give fruition to its current objectives, Google is liaising with various stakeholders, which include state governments, telecom operators, and internet service providers (ISPs). K Suri, Director, Partnership, India (Next Billion Users) at Google India, told the Economic Times, “Telcos are something we are definitely talking to for things like Wi-Fi coverage and data offload to decongest networks. Those are the reasons why telcos want to be in this space. Wi-Fi is in the nascent stages here.” Further, “Whosoever is interested in public Wi-Fi ecosystem, we are engaging with them to drive the access. Our philosophy is: how do we connect the next billion?”

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