Metro fails to live up to WiFi hype

No show

There was much hype in the media that it would steal a march over Delhi Metro in providing free WiFi connectivity in the trains.

But a month and a day after its launch, all that stands belied. Passengers, who were trying to connect to the internet on their smart phones and laptops, were a disappointed lot.

A few said that their phones did detect a network named ‘snowrail’. None could, however, connect to this network both on the platforms and inside the trains.

When BMRCL spokesperson, B S Chavan, was asked what exactly had happened to the much-hyped WiFi, he said: “People are using it in the trains. Many bring their laptops and connect to the Internet.”

“Anyone can carry their Airtel or Docomo modem, plug it into their laptop and go online,” he added.


The basic understanding of a WiFi was lacking in his reply and he failed to give a clear answer as to why people could not detect a free wireless network on their phones when they were travelling.

According to railwaytechnology.com, the WiFi on rail carriages involves multiple Wireless Access Points (WAPs), along the train, to provide complete coverage.

WAPs use a combination of satellite and cellular phone links to provide complete, uninterrupted coverage throughout the journey, even while passing through tunnels.

The website also mentions that even the London Underground Metro struggles to provide free and secured WiFi connectivity to its passengers.

When this information was put across to an official at one of the stations, he said: “None of these exist. This means there was no possibility of a WiFi connection since the very beginning.”

Cost cutting?

BMRCL is, perhaps, looking to keep the operational costs down from the estimated Rs 6.5 lakh, by not providing free WiFi connectivity for now.

Also, it is a common feature for Namma Metro to switch the air-conditioning off during many of its trips. Many regular passengers told Deccan Herald that during non-peak hours in the morning and night, the train feels stuffy as there is no air-conditioning or any other form of ventilation.

Delhiites can, thus, heave a sigh of relief that Bangalore Metro is yet to overtake them in WiFi connectivity.

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