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Case Code: BSTR571
Case Length: 15 Pages 
Period: 2000-2019   
Pub Date: 2019
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization : RailTel
Industry :-
Countries : India
Themes: Digital Inclusion/Digital Strategy/Digital India/Digital Entrepreneurship/Smart Cities/Sustainable Digital Inclusion/Digital Inclusion Platform/Corporate Social Responsibility/Public-Private Partnership/Financial Inclusion
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RailTel: A Platform for Digital Inclusion in India

 
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EXCERPTS

RAILTEL: FACILITATING ‘DIGITAL INDIA’

 

To achieve the vision of ‘Digital India’, IR mandated that RailTel introduce Wi-Fi services at approximately 700 railway stations of the A1, A, & B categories. By October 2014, Bangalore (now Bengaluru), became the first railway station to have the Wi-Fi facility. The Wi-Fi facility was made available to passengers on their mobile phones free of cost, initially for a period of 30 minutes. For usage beyond 30 minutes, the user had to purchase a scratch card, which was available at the Wi-Fi help desk at the railway stations. The scratch cards were priced at Rs 25 for 30 minutes and Rs 35 for one hour and were valid for 24 hours. Additional browsing time could also be purchased online using credit or debit cards. ...

 
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EARLY FRUITS OF DIGITAL INCLUSION

By 2017, the number of subscribers under RailTel had increased to five million. Although the arrival of Reliance Jio’s free internet service did bring some competition for RailTel, executives (of RailTel) sounded confident about the company’s position. They asserted, “At that time (when Reliance Jio was just launched), we were at five million monthly active users with our RailWire project. But since then we have added about 30 to 40 stations and we haven't seen any decrement in number of users.”..
 

RAISING RED FLAGS

Although RailTel reported that around eight million rail passengers were already benefitting from its public free Wi-Fi facility, that was limited to select A1, A, and some B-listed railway stations. Those mostly covered the busy stations. At a Railway Board meeting in 2018, the opinion was that in the age of inexpensive, universal high-speed mobile data, spending government money on free Wi-Fi at railway stations no longer made much sense...
 

EXHIBITS

Exhibit I:Gross Revenue of RailTel from 2013-2018 (Rs Million)
Exhibit II: Gross Margin Earned by RailTel from 2013-2018 (Rs Million)
Exhibit III: Revenue Contribution by Different Services of RailTel: 2017-2018 (in %)