Government is planning a mobile app that will make it easier to access public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country. The department of telecommunication (DoT) has announced that it will launch the app on Thursday as an attempt to simplify the process of connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspot. The app will support both one-time login and authentication to seamlessly connect to any public Wi-Fi hotspot.
The app will be launched at India Mobile Congress in New Delhi tomorrow and the government believes it will offer users cheaper and easier access to internet compared to mobile data services. Apart from simplifying the process of connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country, the app is also expected to boost the proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots. If successful, the application will be able to offload mobile data traffic on to WiFi networks.
“The app has been designed so that users can get on board the public Wi-Fi through one-time authentication and does not have to repeat the entire process for accessing the next Wi-Fi hotspot,” a person familiar with the app told Livemint. “The design also ensures back-end interoperability between telecom service providers, which means that if I am a mobile customer of a particular operator, I could seamlessly access Wi-Fi hotspots run by other operators as well.”
The biggest benefit with such an app and seamless connectivity to Wi-Fi hotspot will be decongestion of mobile data networks in high density areas. In the national digital communications policy, the government revealed its target to deploy 5 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country by 2020. It aims to increase that proliferation to 10 million by 2022 through a National Broadband Mission.
The DoT has also delicensed the 5GHz band, which was seen as a major hurdle for corporations and organizations, planning to create Wi-Fi hotspots. The public Wi-Fi hotspots supported by the new app will be provisioned through BharatNet, previously called the National Optical Fiber Network.
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In order to increase the footprint of public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country, the regulator has prescribed a framework with interoperable standards to authenticate the user and payment mechanism to achieve unbundling of operations. This will enable public hotpots to created in a seamless manner and an entity setting it up won’t be responsible for its marketing, customer acquisition, payments and settlements.