Google withdraws its plans for Station

Google Wifi news

Google stated that it was going to shut down its free Wi-Fi programme in India. Google had wifi named Station which was to be made available in over 400 railway stations across India. Google had started a program in 2015 which was supposed to be a part of its “Next Billion Users” initiative. This programme was amongst the first initiative taken by Google in India.

Google Vice-President Caesar Sengupta, said that the availability of cheap data in the country was the biggest problem that led to the shut down of this program. He also stated that enabling this plan had complications since the beginning. This plan started 5 years ago, and since India has reached a stage of easy and cheap internet access.

Mobile data plans and connectivity has improved drastically and has become really affordable. India is the only country in the world that offers the cheapest per GB internet plans. The data prices have reduced by 95% in the past years. Station, which was also functioning in Thailand, Mexico and Nigeria, will be seen quitting the market in the coming year.

Google has not named any cheaper telecom player, but it was Reliance Jio which was the reason for its downfall in India. Caesar Sengupta also stated that they and their partners, RailTel, were looking for smooth transitioning of their sites so that they could still be resourceful to the community. RailTel is a state-owned telecom infrastructure provider that partners with Indian Railways and Pune Smart City.

Currently, the main area of focus for Google under its Next Billion Users initiative is that of GooglePay(GPay) which had 67million monthly users as of September 2019.

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