As pretty much all of Google's products and services are connected to the Internet in one way or another, it's no wonder that the Mountain View tech giant has been investing a lot of resources into getting more people online. Earlier this year, Google launched high-speed WiFi in Mumbai's central station and has hit 18 more stations in India since then. Today, the company has announced a program called Google Station which is basically just a continuation of its existing WiFi strategy in India. More specifically, the Internet giant has just partnered with Indian Railways and RailTel and has expanded the existing program to 52 stations in the country. While that's an impressive achievement for a program which has only started eight months ago, Google just got even more ambitious and has announced that over 100 Indian stations will get free WiFi by the end of the year.
Google's VP Caesar Sengupta asserted that 15,000 Indians get online for the first time in their life each day thanks to the aforementioned railway wireless hotspot initiative, The Verge reports. In addition to that, the service currently has around 3.5 million monthly users in India and that number is rapidly growing. The Google Station program which the tech company just announced won't be solely focused on India as it's actually designed to expand from India. Namely, Google is currently in talks with various railway companies around the world as it's negotiating terms of bringing Station to more territories. The idea is to both bring WiFi hotspots to more train stations but also to make the existing ones better. In due time, the company has plans to expand Station outside of actual stations and partner with a more diverse range of businesses.
Of course, nothing in life is truly free and Google Station will be no exception. The initiative currently lists several methods of monetization and it's to be expected that most of the company's future partners will opt for an ad-supported model as it's the easiest one to implement. Lastly, while Google doesn't specifically mention that, there's a good chance that this initiative also makes use of some of its other Wi-Fi related projects such as Project Loon in the future.