Logistics

Soon, enjoy content of your choice on rail journeys

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2020 Published on January 15, 2020

RailTel ties up with Zee Entertainment arm to provide media content on-demand

Following the launch of Wi-Fi connectivity across stations through project Railwire, the Indian Railways is now set to provide Content-on-Demand services in trains and stations across the country.

The Mini Ratna PSU, RailTel Corporation, has tied up with Margo Networks, a Zee Entertainment subsidiary, to provide uninterrupted media content on-demand in trains and stations for a contract period of 10 years, including the implementation period.

The service is part of the Railway Board’s strategy to branch out in terms of revenue model and maximise its non-fare revenue.

Uninterrupted streaming

The CoD service will have multilingual media content, including movies, music videos, shows and educational programmes, according to an official statement.

All media content will be preloaded and can be streamed by passengers in moving trains directly through media servers installed within the trains, despite unstable connectivity in moving trains with zero buffer time.

The statement quoting Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel, said, “The Content-on-Demand service will not only improve overall passenger experience, but at the same time will increase the non-fare revenue through multiple monetisation models. Earnings from the project will be primarily through three streams e.g. advertisement-based monetisation, subscription-based monetisation and e-commerce/ partnership services.”

The statement quoting Indian Railways said, “With COD, passengers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted free/ subscription-based entertainment service during their train journey, despite an unstable mobile network in a moving train. Passengers will be able to enjoy high-quality buffer-free streaming across personal devices.”

The content will be refreshed at regular intervals. The CoD service will also include e-commerce/ m-commerce services across various domains such as travel bookings, including bus, cab and train bookings. It will also venture into digital marketing services for businesses, the release said.

Service roll-out

The CoD project will include all 17 zones of the Indian Railways and is expected to be completed within the next two years, with the initial roll-out beginning in 2022.

The roll-out will cover approximately 8,731 trains, comprising 3,003 trains (Premium/ Mail/ Express - to and fro) pan-India and 2,864 pairs of suburban trains (a total of 5,728 trains). CoD will be made available in all stations covered under the Railway’s Wi-fi services RailWire, which has already covered over 5,563 stations across the Railway network.

Published on January 15, 2020
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