After offering 600 Wi-Fi access points spread across India, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is now planning something even bigger. The DoT is looking forward to install over 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across India in the by next month.
“The idea is to launch it first, and refine as we go. We expect to launch 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots when we launch it next month, and scale up to a 100,000 in the first three months,” Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary, said in a statement to ET.
Until now, we have been relying on mobile data to browse the internet, but DoT wants to change that by implementing “Public Open Wi-Fi” project. The idea behind this is to offer affordable internet connectivity in tier 2 and tier 3 cities across India.
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Sundararajan also stated “On the infra provisioning (people who set up paid public Wi-Fi access points) alone, this project will definitely create 500,000 entrepreneurs. In addition, people who can get into content creation and sachetisations (sell Re 1 and Rs 3 internet packs), etc., is also significant.”
The pilot project for this initiative was launched in October 2017 to check the interoperability between the system and Wi-Fi networks. The project result showed 603 access points with 96.3 percent users finding the system friendly. Interestingly, the report also highlighted that Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays were the days when network was majorly used.
The project is based on PDOs (Public Data Office providers) concept which is similar to PCOs, just that it will offer users with data services instead of calling. With the initiative, DoT also aims to propel small businesses to become providers after a simple registration process.