New Delhi: Union Communications Minister Manoj Sinha on Thursday announced that the Indian telecom industry will rollout one million WiFi hotspots in the country by December 2019.
“Bharat Wi-Fi, a country-wide common inter-operable platform of one million Wi-Fi Hotspots, owned and operated by Telecom Service Providers, Internet Service Providers and Virtual Network Operators will be rolled out across the country. This initiative allows consumers to access Wi-Fi Hotspots of any of the partnering operators,” he said at the second edition of India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018 in New Delhi.
The National Frequency Allocation Plan 2018 (NFAP) was also unveiled during the IMC inauguration ceremony . The NFAP released a quantum of 605 MHz license exempt spectrum in 5GHz band for Wireless Access Services and Radio Local Area Networks in outdoor, to meet the ever-growing appetite for data (from a current figure of 50 MHz since 2007).
The NFAP also offered over 30 license exempt bands for Short Range Devices (SRDs), Ultra-Wideband Devices (UWDs) and additional spectrum for M2M services, creating opportunities for the public to enjoy benefits from technologies and enabling the industry to build domestic manufacturing ecosystem.
Another major policy initiative, which will give impetus to small and medium entrepreneurship in Telecom Sector was also launched at the IMC inaugural session. DoT decided to deduct payments for resources taken by Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) from telecom service providers, thereby reducing levies payable by VNOs. This avoids double taxation at various stages.
A concrete plan is in making by the DoT to enable homegrown technologies for trials in the field on a large scale to enable the development and the scaling up of the products and services.