Google-led Group Bags First City Wi-Fi Deal in Pune

Internet giant Google has won its first city Wi-Fi deal in collaboration with companies such as IBM, Larsen & Toubro and RailTel from Pune Smart City Development Corporation.

The latest contract is valued at Rs.150 crore, and includes capital expenditure, operating expenditure and revenue sharing elements, Pune Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar said. “Fifteen to twenty per cent revenue generated through this city-wide Wi-Fi network will be shared with the authority“.

Under the contract, Google will deploy its Google Station platform, which has Wi-Fi network management capability, and focuses on monetisation to make the service self-sustainable. RailTel, on the other hand, will provide last-mile fiber connectivity to enable Wi-Fi hotspots at around 200 strategic locations across the city.

“The plan is to integrate all public places on a single platform to aggregate Wi-Fi hotspots, that will allow access with one-time authentication,“ Kumar added.

Larsen & Toubro is the master system integrator for the Pune Smart City project and it will help integrate everything together. The company will also set up emergency call boxes and public address systems, environmental sensors, variable messaging displays, network connectivity and video analytics integration.

With Google Station platform, the US major is extending its Wi-Fi service beyond railway stations to places that are frequented by a large number of people, such as malls and transit stations, and in social hangout locations such as cafes and universities. The company had previously said it will be partnering with large venues and organisations, network operators, fiber providers, system integrators and infrastructure companies to provide Wi-Fi in city areas.

Google has so far been working with RailTel and Indian Railways to provide high-speed Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations throughout the country. So far, over 100 railway stations have been equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots.

As part of the Pune project, Google is also working with RailTel and L&T for variable message displays that will be used to deliver important information and messages across 161 locations in the city .

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