Bus travelers in Karnataka will be extremely happy to hear this – The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will soon offer Free Wi-Fi facility in 144 major bus stations. Some of the Bus Stations to have this facility include Bengaluru, Hassan, Mandya, Mysuru, Madikeri, Dharmasthala, Mangaluru, Kundapur, Davangere, Tumakuru, Kolar among others.
KSRTC Managing Director, Rajender Kumar Kataria, confirmed this development and said, “The KSRTC is the first public transport operator in India to provide free Wi-Fi in tier-1, 2 and 3 cities. Thousands of passengers will benefit from this daily. They can connect with their family or surf the Internet”
This initiative has been executed in PPP model, where KSRTC will provide access to their bus stations to a private company, who will setup the Wi-Fi access. KSRTC will not be charged anything and the company installing the WiFi access will make money through advertisements.
When user starts accessing Free internet through WiFi at Bus stations, they will be shown ads, which will serve as the revenue stream for the company.
Currently pilot is being conducted at 4 bus stations in Bengaluru namely Kempegowda (Majestic), Shanthinagar, Peenya and Mysuru Road. Once the pilot is complete, this facility will be rolled out at other bus stations in phased manner.
If you are at a KSRTC Bus stations, especially in Bengaluru, here is how you can get access to Free Wi-Fi:
First, Wi-Fi needs to be enabled on the mobile device or laptop
Select ‘ION Wi-Fi’ from available networks.
For Android phones, Download ‘FREE ION Wi-Fi’ app from ION Network or Google Play. (not yet available)
On iPhones, login page will appear through the browser or the application can be downloaded from iStore.
Enter 10-digit mobile number and receive password by SMS.
Press submit, you are now connected to the Internet.
The Free WiFi on Bus stations will be available in the passenger waiting room, platforms and ticketing areas. The speed of WiFi provided will be at 512 Kbps.
Free internet will be available for one hour or 100 MB, whichever reaches earlier.
In our view, the speed offered is quite low – it should have been atleast 1mbps. 512 kbps should only be good enough for checking and sending emails, normal browsing etc. Watching any kind of rich or multimedia content would be strenuous!
In terms of time, 60 minutes is a decent amount of time and 100 MB limit should also good enough for most travelers.