Indian Railways is soon going to write a new chapter in the history of railways, It is going to be internet enabled soon. A trial run was conducted in Mumbai – Ahmendabad Shatabadi express and the report is submitted for review to the railway ministry. India railways is going a step ahead in user friendliness with making railways internet enabled and serve internet via satellites in WIFI enabled trains enabling users to surf while traveling. They can get latest news, trade stocks, chat, mail etc using internet while on travel.
In the phase 1, Shatabadi, Rajdhani, Saloon cars and relief trains will be equipped with the transmission technology for internet connectivity it implies that Railway ministry is primarily targeting higher segment users for internet services . The proposal is also considering to have a LCD screen for every seat in 1st AC coach of Shatabadi and for eatery seat in 1st and 2nd AC coach for Rajdhani this means a lot to the users as users don’t have to carry their internet enabled devices like laptop , palmtop etc and yet they can surf internet and use plethora of applications like email , chat , stock trading etc. It is yet not decided whether internet connectivity will be provided for free or users have to pay for it. It will cost around 340 crore to complete this ambitious project.
For users it means a change in perspective as people can be productive even on travel, they can be in touch with family and friends even in places where cellular network is not there as Satellite network has a much better coverage. Users can benefit from better and customized services for eg various taxi fleet owners can bid based on users need and users can book them minutes before boarding off the train having them getting better rate etc.
India railways will also be benefited heavily with the introduction of the service and can generated revenue from many sources like internet connectivity, IPTV, IP telephony (imagine a cheap STD corner in every coach with crystal clear voice connectivity unlike choppy mobile network) . Railways can also earn a good amount from advertisers which can provide better and customized advertisements.
This is for sure going to be a major milestone for Indian Railways as it will help it to be pictured as a technology friendly service and many people majorly students, small businessman will actively see railway as a primary mode of transport as travel as users can still be connected while travelling which is not possible in India even during Air Travel and facility is also not available on most of the airports also.