Indian Railways is planning to make the journey of passengers more entertaining by offering a free video streaming solution. Yes, you will soon be able to stream video content like high-quality movies, TV series, and news on your mobile or tablet without incurring any additional charges. And the best part is that passengers will be able to enjoy the service at the railway stations as well as in a moving train, just like a regular in-flight aircraft entertainment system. As of now, the on-demand content streaming project is in early stages and there is no word when a wider rollout can be expected.
“Passengers will love this! Soon, stream your favourite movies, shows and music on trains and stations”, Indian government's Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal tweeted recently. The Railway Ministry has reportedly selected RailTel, a mini ratna operating under its aegis and one that also provides free Wi-Fi at railway stations, to helm its upcoming free content streaming service ambitions. Official information about the project is scarce at the moment.
“RailTel will provide preloaded multilingual content; movies, music videos, general entertainment including TV serials and devotional programmes, lifestyle-related etc in moving trains,” a railway official told the Financial Express. “In case of trains, to ensure buffer-free services, media servers will be placed. Passengers will be able to enjoy high-quality buffer-free streaming across personal devices and the content will be periodically refreshed,”
The pilot project will reportedly be executed at one of the railway stations where the RailTel free Wi-Fi service is available. As for the content, no partner has been announced yet, but the catalogue of free content at the disposal of passengers will include movies, music videos, TV series, devotional programs, lifestyle shows, and more. As for moving trains, the service will be provided by placing media servers to facilitate a buffer-free streaming experience.
The project is definitely ambitious, but Indian Railways is looking at it as an opportunity to pocket non-fare revenue. This will be accomplished by placing ads on the free content platform's landing page and in pre-rolls of videos. The project has reportedly been in development for quite some time and is finally coming close to fruition.