Bangalore will become the first city in India to offer free Wi-Fi hotspot to locals at M.G Road and Brigade road. The idea is the brainchild of Mohandas Pai, a former executive at Infosys. Pai is of the opinion that while India is undergoing a major IT revolution, the most important component, the internet is still less than stellar.
The service which will kick off from next month will be on testing phase. The pilot phase will last for 6 months post which the Pai team will consider upgrades and expansions to other areas. The service will be evaluated by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) panel which will then present its views to the government.
The decision to provide free Wi-Fi had already been taken last year though the move to implement it has come in March. For the pilot model, service provider D-VoiS will provide the internet free of cost. Once the pilot project is complete, other service providers will be invited and consider a revenue sharing model.
While most cities in developed nations already have free Wi-Fi in public places, India still lags behind despite having a huge on-the-go business base. While the move to offer free service in Bangalore might earn a frown from other cities, it makes sense as Bangalore is considered the IT hub of the nation.
The service providers will still have considerable efforts to be made as offering a free Wi-Fi service comes with its own set of problems. A major concern is intrusion by anti-social elements and hackers which are impossible to trace under the free Wi-Fi model. Perhaps the service providers will need to set an authentication model in place to deal with such issues.
Also, to improve the revenue model, we think the government might offer two kind of services, one completely free and the other slightly premium, faster WI-Fi which will be charged. Advertisements might be another revenue model. Whatever the case, we’re sure ecstatic that India finally gets free Wi-Fi!