An initial proposal by the Railways to facilitate satellite-based Internet on trains, sans data cards has now met with approval from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The proposal, which has been awaiting an ISRO-approval since two years now, will see Internet surfing in trains, minus data cards a reality, soon. The Railways have achieved a major breakthrough in this respect, since it will be the very first time that an operational train will be equipped with satellite-based Internet. The Railways now have the approval to use the frequency from KU band for using the satellite for Internet. And, the first one to boast of this facility, albeit on a pilot basis first, will be three rakes of the Howrah Rajdhani, for which the Railways have sanctioned Rs.6.30 crores, and the project will begin soon helmed by a Mumbai-based company. 

Train tracking systems by 2013 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Satellite-based Internet to come in next! (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Railways plan to begin with their pilot project first, and depending on its success they will link more trains with satellite-based Internet facilities, and considering that it will be a pilot project, users will not be charged for their Internet usage. The procedure that the passengers will need to follow to avail the Internet services is that they will first receive a password on their mobile phone, after they dial the number provided to them by the TTE. It is this password that the passengers will have to use to access the Internet. Elaborating further on their big plans with the new service, an official was quoted as saying, “ISRO's clearance for using frequency from satellite for internet is mandatory. Now that we have got the clearance, work on the project will commence soon. Now custom-made antenna will be installed on the locomotives of the train and coaches will be linked through Wi-Fi connectivity.

Satellite-based Internet services on operational trains is surely a biggie achieved by the Railways. Considering the number of people who use the services regularly, and who are also well-connected through the Internet; one can only hope that the facility is readily lapped up by the end-user. 

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