The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has sent an invitation for the companies, app providers, and hardware or software providers to set up on a pilot basis public wi-fi hotspots that will be available to the public at a starting price of Rs 2.
The regulator will accept applications for setting up pay-as-you-go public data offices until July 25, said a media statement by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
The public wi-fi hotspots are proposed to be set up on the lines of yesteryear’s PCOs that were used for making phone calls by the public on paid basis. The Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) represents an opportunity for data similar to what “PCOs did for long distance calling”, the TRAI added.
PDOs will be akin to the public calling offices (PCOs) that connected all of India before the advent of mobile phones and low-cost telecom services, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on Friday, while issuing the broad objectives of the pilot program and the guidelines and pre-requisites for companies wanting to participate.
“TRAI invites all interested entities to be a part of a pilot to establish nationwide, pay-as-you-go PDOs (Public Data Offices).The products available for consumption should begin from ‘sachet-sized’, i.e. low denominations ranging from Rs 2 to Rs 20, etc,” Trai said in a statement.
With this initiative, TRAI aims to establish an open architecture based Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) in the Indian subcontinent, which will allow Indians access to mini data packs at a lower cost which will be accessed by doing a one-time enrolment into the service through KYC and mobile one-time password.
TRAI also said that the access to data in India is still limited due to poor coverage of fiber or telecom and prohibitive pricing of cellular data. Public Wi-Fi hotspots hold an important place in the last-mile delivery of broadband to users and it allows offloading telecom networks to ease congestion.
“In India, access to data is still limited due to poor coverage of fiber or telecom and prohibitive pricing of cellular data. Public wi-fi hotspots hold an important place in the last-mile delivery of broadband to users. It allows offloading telecom networks to ease congestion,” Trai said.