NEW DELHI: RailTel, a telecom arm of the Indian railways, grappling with a ‘sustainable business model’ has discontinued Wi-Fi scratch cards sale at New Delhi railway station even as nearly 10,000 people latch to RailWire Wi-Fi network at India’s third busiest railway station on a daily basis.
This at a time when RailWire plans to connect as much as 100 railway stations by this year end and 400 railways stations with high-speed Internet across country together with Internet giant Google, as a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s prestigious Digital India programme.
“The Wi-Fi cards have been discontinued presently as there was no significant sale initially,” a RailTel spokesperson told ET, adding that alternative revenue methods such as online payment are being currently explored.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu launched RailTel’s Wi-Fi broadband service at New Delhi railway station on December 8, 2014 providing first 30 minutes of free Internet usage at the entire New Delhi railway station premise covering all platforms and concourse.
The New Delhi railway station area has an average usage of 50 MB of data per user, according to the RailTel officials. The free service with a maximum speed of 1 Mbps is still available by registering to the RailWire Wi-Fi network through a mobile phone.