The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a new consultation paper that seeks to invite suggestions from all stakeholders for its policy on interoperable and scalable public Wi-Fi networks.
As per the statement issued by Sudhir Gupta, Secretary, TRAI, “The objective of this consultation paper is to explore whether the model can be implemented for public Wi-Fi networks to promote appropriate monetisation and business models for sustainable and scalable infrastructure deployment.”
TRAI has already identified paucity of spectrum and infrastructure in the backend for better Wi-Fi connectivity and has sought views on -"Whether reselling of bandwidth should be allowed to venue owners such as shopkeepers through Wi-Fi at premise?”
The statement further explains, “Realising the importance of public Wi-Fi networks as complementary to existing landline and cellular mobile infrastructure in improving broadband penetration and adoption in the country TRAI released consultation paper on 13th July 2016, a few of the important issues pointed out in the consultation paper for a successful, scalable and sustainable public Wi-Fi infrastructure in the country include: technical interoperability and seamless connectivity of Wi-Fi networks, innovative payment, commercialisation and monetisation models and collaborative partnerships between various entities of the ecosystem.”
In his stance on the issue, RS Sharma, Chairman, TRAI has already explained his vision for public Wi-Fi accessibility by stating, “I’m not looking at large companies putting up Wi-Fi. We used to have PCOs. Can we have Public Data Offices, where a grocery shop can have a wifi hotspot, where the authentication is taken care of by the back-end of the hotspot? All he has to do is keep the Wi-Fi connected to power.”