Russian Railways announced that by the end of 2019, a further 82 railway stations will be able to access the unified free Wi-Fi network, which will bring the wireless Internet access service to a total of 218 stations, up from 136 at the end of 2018.
RZD, together with TransTeleCom, has been implementing the project to provide free Wi-Fi at railway stations since 2015.
By the end of the year, free Internet access will also be available at railway stations in other parts of the Russia, including the Republic of Udmurtia and the Republic of Tatarstan, as well as in the Moscow, Pskov, Ivanovo, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, Vladimir, Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk and Amur regions.
In order to use the free Wi-Fi service at train stations, a passenger only needs to undergo the authorisation procedure once. In the future, his or her mobile device will automatically connect to the network at any station which is in the unified Wi-Fi network.
During 2018, users connected to the Wi-Fi at railway stations more than 6.6 million times, which is almost 20% more than in 2017.
A high percentage of the growth in the number of users is due to the constantly rising demand for the service and its active development by RZD, as well as the many large-scale events which were held during the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. During the Championship from 14 June to 15 July 2018, visitors to railway stations in the cities hosting the matches connected to the free Wi-Fi service about 425,000 times, which was 80% more than the monthly average.