RailTel has launched Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme based access of its public Wi-Fi services across 100 railway stations having 2,384 Wi-Fi hotspots. These stations are spread in 22 states and include 71 category A1, A stations and 29 stations of other category.

To access this Wi-Fi network, presently android based mobile application named ‘Wi-DOT’ can be used which is available on Google Play Store.  This application has been developed in close coordination with Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT). This method of accessing Wi-Fi through ‘mobile app’ would be in addition to existing method of accessing Wi-Fi at these stations through conventional method of selecting RailWire Service Set Identifier (SSID).

PM-WANI based access will facilitate ease of use through one time know-your-customer (KYC) to avoid one time password (OTP) based authentication, every time one tries to use WANI based public Wi-Fi.

RailTel’s Wi-Fi network is now spread across 6102 railway stations across India and has 17,792 Wi-Fi hotspots. Later, PM-WANI based access of RailTel’s public Wi-Fi services would be extended to all 6102 railway stations (where Wi-Fi facility is already available) in phased manner by the end of June 2022 (total 1000 stations by June 10, 2022, 3000 stations by June 20, 2022 and all 6102 by  June 30, 2022).

Commenting on the development, Puneet Chawla, chairman and managing director, RailTel, said, “RailTel being the most widespread integrated Wi-Fi network of country supporting the largest footfall of Wi-Fi users, is taking an anchor role in entire PM-WANI eco-system, by continuous engagement with regulatory bodies and industry players, to enhance evolving framework. RailTel will extend its Wi-Fi footprints beyond railway stations by leveraging its partnership with more than 7000 last mile service providers to establish Wi-Fi hotspots in underserved areas. RailTel is also making continuous effort in providing broadband internet connectivity to more and more rural areas as part of digital India mission.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay, executive director and chairman, C-DOT, underscored the key role of indigenously designed and developed technologies in meeting the specific requirements of diverse geography of India including rural and remote areas. He stressed upon the synergistic engagement between C-DOT and RailTel that will spur innovation leading to design, development and deployment of indigenous technologies in national networks including Indian Railways. He further noted that PM-WANI hotspots would prove effective in extending cost-effective internet to passengers at rural and remote railway stations across the country. He congratulated RailTel for the launch of prestigious PM-WANI framework and assured that C-DOT will work relentlessly towards aligning its indigenous telecom research and development (R&D) endeavours with the specific requirements of RailTel for meeting the overreaching objectives of national development.