Wi-fi Hotspots: Architecture and Specification document released by TRAI

NEW DELHI: A "Public Wifi Pilot" laying the foundation for setting up nationwide public wifi network with the help of public data officers (PDOs) has been issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

The aim of this effort is to help set up large number of public wi-fi hotspots across the country on a scale similar to what has been done in most of the developed countries.

This will not only increase worldwide availability of data to the consumers but will also improve India's overall ranking in the data usage. Interested entities are requested to submit their willingness to TRAI by 25 July 2017.

TRAI said the telecom industry is seeing rapid transformation through drop in data prices, increased speed, and increased consumption of data packs. India is also creating a slew of digital platforms to help its citizens with better access to various services.

According to reports, Indians consumed more cellular data than China, and as much as the US in the current cellular data pricing regime. TRAI believes that by adopting an Open Architecture approach, emphasis on innovation and consumer experience is placed as the winning criteria.

This network architecture is built around an Open Architecture based Wi-Fi Access Network Interface {WANI} that facilitates participation of PDO providers, access point hardware/software providers, application providers etc. There could be any number of entities participating in the network making it truly unbundled and open architecture, as mentioned in the pilot document released on 7 July 2017.

The document entitled "Open Wi-fi Framework- Architecture & specification (version 0.5)" represents an exciting opportunity to achieve for data exactly what PCOs did for Long Distance Calling. It will bring a new generation of users and entrepreneurs into the market to bridge the need of last mile connectivity. The opportunities created are immense and will benefit 100’s of millions of users in India waiting to get affordable access to Internet.

A statement by TRAI said the regulator was overwhelmed with the response received from a number of startup companies for participating in this pilot project for the nationwide wi-fi network.

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