- RailTel has floated a tender to bring infotainment services to trains
- It will be a five-year project and could be extended to add more trains
- Passengers will be able to watch movies, listen to songs on their phone
Indian Railways wants to make your train rides more enjoyable. PSU RailTel has floated a tender to bring on-demand content services to over 1,300 long-distance trains across various routes in India, it told Gadgets 360.
The state-run ISP, which offers Internet facilities tapping the optic fibre cable that runs alongside railway tracks, is planning to offer infotainment services such as movies, songs, educational lectures, and documentaries to the passengers at low-cost plans. It is expecting the tender to close in a month or so and then it will begin negotiating with content players.
As part of the five-year project, which could be extended to include more trains, RailTel also aims to bring the on-demand content services to premium trains such as Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express, it said. It will begin the project with premium trains first.
Exactly how the content services would be offered to passengers remains to be chalked out. RailTel said it is waiting for the tender to close first. In any event, it is eyeing a P2P model where people are able to consume content on their respective smartphones or tablets. RailTel won’t provide Internet access to passengers, it said.
The move comes as Indian Railways, which continues to face losses in passenger sector, looks at finding new ways to bring revenue. Earlier this year, it was also exploring the idea of renting a platform to people for purposes such as wedding ceremony. India is home to the fourth largest railway network in the world.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to change the number of trains from 13,000 to 1,300 as per updated statement by RailTel.