Google Station Free Wi-Fi service winds down Globally.


Google Station

Google is going to shut down all Google Station around the world. Google Station is a program that offers free Wi-Fi across 400 railway stations in India and other locations worldwide since 2015. The Google station is available not only in railway stations but it there in many public places and offer high-speed free internet. Currently, this service is live in countries like Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, India, and Indonesia. But all Google station is going wound down globally this year.

If we talk about Google station in India, it was launch back in the year 2015 in collaboration with RailTel and powered by Google RailWire. At present more than 400 railway stations in India have this free Wi-Fi station. But Google is going to shut them soon this year.

Google is shutting down the station because it was becoming difficult for them to scale up this model to create a sustainable business from it. During this journey of Google station, the company worked with various partners in different markets to offered their service but everywhere they find lots of technical and infrastructure difficulties. In India, they worked with Indian Railways, and Pune Smart City and in South Africa they work with Think WiFi.   

In a blog post on Monday, Google explains the reason behind their decision behind shutting down all Google Station around the world.  

From Google Official:

As we look to the next phase of enabling access, it’s clear that since we started five years ago, getting online has become much simpler and cheaper. Mobile data plans have become more affordable and mobile connectivity is improving globally. India, specifically now has among the cheapest mobile data per GB in the world, with mobile data prices have reduced by 95% in the last 5 years, as per TRAI in 2019. Today, Indian users consume close to 10 GB of data, each month, on average*. And similar to what the Indian government did, several governments and local entities have kicked off their own initiatives to provide easier, cost-effective access to the internet for everyone. 


In addition to this changed context, the challenge of varying technical requirements and infrastructure among our partners across countries has also made it difficult for Station to scale and be sustainable, especially for our partners. And when we evaluate where we can truly make an impact in the future, we see a greater need and bigger opportunities in building products and features tailored to work better for the next billion-user markets. 

Therefore, we've made the decision to gradually wind down the Station program globally, through 2020. We are working with our partners to transition existing sites so they can remain useful resources for the community. 

Google is not only the company that tried to make the internet accessible to users easily by developing markets to get online. Facebook also founded the Internet.org project in 2013 and in 2016 it launched Express Wi-Fi in India. But their previous internet service got banned in the country.    

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