Latest News | New technology to help deliver faster internet access on Mumbai’s rail network
Mumbai, Aug 24 (PTI) Hundreds of thousands of commuter rail commuters served by select telecom operators will be able to enjoy faster internet access on their mobile phones thanks to new technology.
Cloudextel, which markets itself as a “network as a service” company, has partnered on a pilot project with Railtel to provide the shared radio access network (RAN) solution at nine stations between Churchgate and Dadar on the Western Railway.
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The company’s founder and managing director, Kunal Bajaj, said he had already repaired the equipment at Mumbai Central Station and said the results had been very satisfactory with higher data speeds.
Currently, Vi and Airtel subscribers will be able to enjoy the services without any additional cost or new connection like the one required to connect to public WiFi, Bajaj said.
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Typically, the company repairs a single base station and then several smaller units on a station to facilitate connectivity, Bajaj said, adding that a site like Mumbai Central will require an investment of Rs 1 crore.
Cloudextel will commit to a set of parameters on service delivery and the telco will pay for it regardless of how many consumers are served or what data they download, Bajaj said.
The company, a subsidiary of Bombay Gas Company, estimates that in the next 12 to 18 months the project can be extended to all suburban stations and will also consider setting up similar infrastructure along the tracks for better connectivity during trips.
The same shared RAN solution will also be offered to airports, metro stations and prime commercial real estate projects, Bajaj said.
At present, it is funded by the parent company and has drawn up a plan to invest up to Rs 400 crore over the next five years depending on the growth of the business, Bajaj said, adding that he will seek external funding as it expands.
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