Telecom regulator TRAI has sought views on a model for deployment of public Wi-Fi hotspots, including reselling of service by venue owners, that can be scaled up for wider coverage and affordable broadband services. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said its consultation paper on model for nation-wide interoperable and scalable public Wi-Fi networks is “to explore the roles of different stakeholders in the Public Wi-Fi network value chain and build an ecosystem for promoting scalable and sustainable partnerships for large scale nation wide deployment.”
The regulator said that it is also exploring monetization and sustainable business models for public Wi-Fi networks though the consultation process. The regulator has identified lack of spectrum in the back-end to connect Wi-Fi hotspots, stagnated growth of landline connections, and authentication of Wi-Fi user, payment mechanism, and infrastructure woes like availability of power among issues hindering proliferation of public Wi-Fi.
TRAI has proposed that various entities can be part of public Wi-Fi include malls, restaurant owners, mobile wallet firms, communities to reduce cost of operations and contribute through their expertise. Among comments on various issues for public Wi-Fi growth, TRAI has sought view on “Whether reselling of bandwidth should be allowed to venue owners such as shop keepers through Wi-Fi at premise? In such a scenario please suggest the mechanism for security compliance.” Last date for submitting comments on the paper is November 25. ALSO READ: TRAI likely to release its recommendations on free internet this week