Making India Wi-Fi Enabled In 2016

by Poonam Mondal    Apr 22, 2016


India is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world, and unsurprisingly this is attracting Wi-Fi service providers in their droves. The first three months of 2016 saw multiple wireless service providers competing with each other, catering to the enormous mobile user base in the country, bullish on making India Wi-Fi enabled.

Leading the chart is Google that has introduced the public Wi-Fi service in 10 Indian cities. According to Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Project, Google India, “These stations join the first which google has brought online in January, Mumbai Central, where more than 100,000 people are already logging into the high-speed Wi-Fi every week.”

Google believes that passengers will enjoy being able to easily stream (or offline) an HD video, research their destination, or download a book or a new game for their journey ahead. Google further added that  it will add 90 more stations will be equipped with wifi by this very year, fulfilling a quarter of its 400 city goal for India.

Facebook unveiled two new initiatives to improve internet services for the rural population in the developing countries, including India. It has launched Terragraph, a 60GHz wireless system aimed at bringing high-speed internet to dense urban areas around the globe. Facebook is currently testing the system at its headquarters and plans to test the system soon in the city of San Jose, California.

Jay Parikh, Facebook’s vice president of engineering, said that developing economies tend to be hampered by WiFi and 4G/LTE infrastructure that cannot keep up with users’ consumption of photos and video at higher resolutions.

Reliance Jio Infocomm offered complementary WiFi service, Jionet, at the six main stadiums across the country for T20 World Cup matches. The stadiums where the company offered WiFi were M. Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bangalore), Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (Dharmashala), Eden Gardens (Kolkata), Punjab Cricket Association Stadium (Mohali), Ferozeshah Kotla (New Delhi) and Wankhede Stadium (Mumbai).

“We are not saying we will lower the price, but we will create a better experience,” Rainer Deutschmann, chief product and innovation officer, told ET.

Recently Ola introduced a new Wi-Fi feature for its high-end cars that will enable customers to automatically connect to a Wi-Fi network when they get into a vehicle — no hassle with registration, codes or hotspot connections. Ola’s “Auto-Connect Wi-Fi” requires one initial log-in, after which a user automatically rejoins the Wi-Fi network in any Ola Prime vehicle.

Paytm also said it is introducing free wifi hotspots facility at metro stations in Delhi, with Noida Sector 18’s station getting the first of those. 

A recent IDC report wireless data will balloon to 13 percent of telecommunications spending, accounting for $536 billion. The companies are driving Wi-Fi services as part of their commitment to Digital India. Increased network capacity, higher performance, and enhanced capabilities will enable Wi-Fi to deliver the best possible user experience, going forward, believe experts.