Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to invest Rs 7,000 crore to offer free high – speed wi-fi in 2500 cities and towns in India to boost Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ project. The state-run company will offer the service to subscribers of all mobile operators in a bid to boost its data revenue.
BSNL chairman and managing director (CMD) Anupam Shrivastava said that the free wi-fi services will begin in the next financial year (2015-16).. But the free services will be only for a limited amount of time. The service will be available in cities and towns like as Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bhopal, Jaipur, Patna, Indore, Chandigarh and Ludhiana will be part of the free Wi-Fi program. The users who are having BSNL or MTNL connection will have to shell out nominal amount once the free usage is over. This programme will be similar in line to the model that some private operators give to their users in airports and other public places.
As per the report, state-run telecom service provider targets to generate Rs 1,500 crores from data business out of Rs 13,500 crore revenues from mobile business. It will target nearly Rs 14,000 crore from fixed line business and broadband and data services. The service will be provided by the latest 4G technology as the company will expand its vast optic fibre network.Nearly 50,000-60,000 wi-fi hot spots will be set up under this programme. The country is on the threshold of data revolution and has a huge potential in the coming years.
BSNL has categorized WiFi hotspot into following 3 types
- Small Hotspot: Cafe, Lounge, Food court etc, - 2 Mbps(dedicated)
- Mid Size Hotspot: Malls, IT Parks, Resorts, Hospitals etc – 4 Mbps(dedicated)
- Large Hotspot: Campus, Very large mall, uncovered broadband semi urban/rural areas – 10 Mbps(dedicated)
Recently Airtel and Reliance Jio announced their plans to start public WiFi hotspots across the country in connection with their 4G service. These moves were aimed at upcoming data revolution in India.