02 Apr

Railtel-Google free railway station wifi using 49Gbps!

Railtel (the telecom arm of Indian railways) is running free wifi hotspots across the country in collaboration with Google.  It’s there since last two years and started with the MoU between Railtel and Google (news here) back in 2015.

Fast forward to 2018 – the free wifi project railway stations seems to be doing quite well with so many users using it. The project covers 361 stations and is expected to reach it’s target of 400 stations soon. The IP network for the service is under the name “Mahataa Information India Private Limited” and originates IP pools from AS134426 – https://bgp.he.net/AS134426#_asinfo. It is a single homed network behind Railtel’s AS24186.

 

 

Google’s free wifi at Indian railway stations is better than most of the country’s paid services

 

I put an RTI to Railtel asking them about MoU details as well as bandwidth consumption for each state. In their reply, Railtel denied the request for MoU under the exemption from disclosure as well as NDAs they have with Google but they did share detailed of state wise bandwidth consumption.

 

 

 

Some interesting points

 

  1. This data is peak bandwidth usage and not average bandwidth.
  2. Highest usage seems to be of Maharashtra which very likely is because of high usage in Mumbai.
  3. Second highest in Uttar Pradesh which isn’t surprising based on the size of the state.
  4. Rajasthan, as well as Punjab, seem quite low against their size.
  5. It seems to be mostly 0 for North East states – Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura & Sikkim. The only traffic is in Assam (450Mbps) and Nagaland (90Mbps).  In Assam there are 5 active stations under the project and Nagaland there’s just one (Dimapur) station. 90Mbps usage for one station is interesting.
  6. Total bandwidth consumption of 49.68Gbps looks like a nice number. Hard to predict the cost of the bandwidth since a significant part of this would be local cached/peered traffic like Google, Facebook, Akamai, Amazon etc. My guess would be that 35% of the 49.68Gbps i.e ~ 17Gbps would be the IP transit expense part of it which would be much cheaper against the long haul network Railtel is maintaining.

 

For anyone interested in raw RTI, I have posted the reply from Railtel here which includes my question & their replies. Document hides my personal details like phone number & address. So far impact seems good but I very much wish to know the cost of offering such service for free and if it is sustainable or not.

29 Jan

Amazon India peering check

And here goes first blog post of 2018. Last few months went busy with some major changes in personal life. 🙂

I looked into Amazon’s India connectivity with various ASNs tonight. Here’s how it looks like. (Note: Jump to bottom most to skip traces and look at the summary data).

 

Amazon India to Vodafone India

 

Amazon India to IDEA

 

Amazon India to Reliance Communications

 

Amazon India to Powergrid Corp

 

Amazon India to BSNL

 

Trace from Amazon India to Google’s anycasted 8.8.8.8:

 

Amazon India to Microsoft Azure India

 

Amazon India to Cloudflare India PoP

 

 

Some traces where traffic going from Amazon India is getting routed to Indian networks from outside:

 

Summary of results

Network Name Network ASN Domestic Connectivity
Tata Communications 4755 Yes*
Airtel 9498 Yes*
Idea Cellular 55644 Yes
Reliance Communucations 18101 No
Aircel 10201 No
Powergrid Telecom 132215 Yes
Railtel 24186 Yes
BSNL 9829 No
NKN 55824 No
CtrlS 18229 No
Syscon Infoway 45194 No
Intech Online 58678 Yes
Charotar Broadband 132933 Yes
Ishan Tech 45117 Yes
Webwerks 33480 No
Blazenet 17625 Yes
Spectra 10029 Yes
Excitel Broadband 133982 Yes
Google 15169 Yes
Cloudflare 13335 No
Microsoft 8075 Yes

 

Misc points:

  1. *TCL and *Airtel seem to be IP transit provider of Amazon. For certain routes going outside India traffic seem to be going via Tata VSNL AS4755.
  2. Connectivity checked for certain random pools only and not for all announced routes for a large telco network.