Freakonomics – New Tatkal scheme and the need for wireless broadband in India

Many young professionals working in the cities usually book their train tickets online. Now that Tatkal booking opens only 2 days in advance, if they take a day off and club it with the weekend to spend time with their family, they’ll end up booking the tickets not in the cities they work but in their home towns.

Most of these people have laptops and broadband connections at home in the cities they work, but not many would have a broadband connection in their native homes. One can’t rely on the slow GPRS connections to try booking a Tatkal ticket in IRCTC thru mobile phones. They can’t depend on browsing centres too as the booking starts early by 8 am. So they are forced to do the dreadful thing of getting up before 7, standing in the queue and praying for their tickets or simply rely on agents.

Wireless broadband would be the ideal solution for these people. But not many are willing to switch due to the high initial costs of USB modem.

Has the wireless broadband providers, Tata Photon and Reliance Netconnect realized this new opportunity that the Indian Railways presents to them? Will they go for a new scheme to attract these people to migrate to wireless broadband?

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