India to get 1 million Wi-Fi spots by December 2019
The Indian telecom sector is all set to roll out one million public Wi-Fi spots across the country by December 2019, Manoj Sinha Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communications and Minister of State for Railways announced earlier this week.
These public Wi-Fi spots will be a part of the country's Bharat Wi-Fi program, a country-wide common inter-operable platform of free Wi-Fi hotspots, and they will be owned and operated by the telecom service providers, internet service providers, and virtual network providers. Once deployed, the initiative, which was announced on the sidelines of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018, would enable users to access Wi-Fi hotspots from any of the partnering operators.
"Our Government, under the leadership of the Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, remains committed to make the digital communications sector a core part of our national infrastructure. The initiatives and reforms we have announced here will provide a strong boost to employment generation and digital economic activity - especially in the rural and semi-rural areas of the country," Sinha said on the occasion.
Besides announcing the public Wi-Fi plan, the minister also announced the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) 2018 at the event. NFAP 2018 releases a total of 605 MHz spectrum in the 5-GHz band for Wireless Access Services and Radio Local Area Networks in outdoor. This will in turn cater to the growing requirement for data in the country. The plan exempts over 30 band licenses for Short Range Devices (SRDs), Ultra-Wideband Devices (UWDs), which would not only benefit the industry but also the industry by fostering a manufacturing ecosystem within the country.
"In NDCP 2018, we have tried to address the regulatory and licensing framework as well as put larger emphasis on futuristic technology such as the 5G and IoT," he added.
Apart from talking the Bharat Wi-Fi program and NFAP 2018, Sinha also talked about the government's plan for the distribution of 5G spectrum in the country. "It is our honest endeavor to position India as a globally synchronized participant in the exploration, design, development and manufacturing of 5G-based technologies, products and applications," Sinha said talking about the government's stand on 5G deployment in India.
"5G is definitely the future of digital communications and deploying it as soon as possible is an imperative for this Government," he added.