Passengers of three premium long-distance passenger trains and an air conditioned (AC) local service will soon have high-quality buffer-free streaming of popular movies and TV shows. The four trains have been selected for the pilot of the content on demand (CoD) service on board trains of the Indian Railways. The service will be rolled out on the two Rajdhani trains, the AC local of Western Railway (WR) and the Chennai Express of Central Railway (CR).
The contract for the service was awarded by RailTel in January to M/s Margo Network, a subsidiary of Zee Entertainment, which goes by the brand name Sugarbox Networks. The project will be implemented in two years and the provision of content such as movies, TV shows, educational programmes will be made available in paid and unpaid formats in a 10-year contract, which includes the first two years of implementation.
Rohit Paranjpe, CEO and co-founder, SugarBox Networks, said commuters and passengers will be able to access apps on their phone through the SugarBox app, which will act as a window and can be downloaded for free. “Consumers at no point will be paying anything to SugarBox.
The content on various platforms that is free will continue to remain free,” he said, adding that they will be integrating the existing apps for not only online content but also services such as ride-hailing apps. Mr. Paranjpe said the four trains were chosen as they had to roll out the service in three different rake types in the Railways for the pilot: suburban rake, premium outstation coaches and regular coaches.
“The pilot is being conducted on 10 rakes, which have been selected for the trains. The trains will be fitted with on-board media servers, which will be preloaded with content that can only be accessed through a mobile application,” a senior railway official said.