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23 January 2015

Exclusive: BSNL to offer 4G level Free Wi-Fi in 2500 cities over 3 years as part of 'Digital India Project'

India government is planning to offer Free Wi-Fi service in 2500 cities and towns across the country over the next three years. State run telecom service provider BSNL will implement the project that will have an investment of nearly Rs 7,000 crore.


As per the latest media reports, BSNL will offer the Free Wi-Fi service to subscribers of all mobile operators in a bid to boost its data revenue and will address the Digital India mission of the Central Government.

The free internet service will be available from the next financial year itself and will offer speeds that will match that offered by 4G technology, BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava has told the media.

However, the free ride will be only for a limited time, after which one would have to pay for further access. After the end of the free Wi-Fi service offering, mobile customers will be charged.

BSNL will set up 50,000-60,000 Wi-Fi hotspots as part of the program. The cities that will get the facility include Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bhopal, Jaipur, Patna, Indore, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

BSNL is hoping that a favourable tariff plan offered for wi-fi services will help it gain mobile subscribers. Stiff competition from private operators and slow pace of infrastructure upgrades have seen flight of mobile customers from BSNL at a time when its landline base is also shrinking.

"We are sitting on the verge of a data revolution and BSNL has a huge potential here on the back of our landline base and capability. Data capability will be a game changer in the next few years and we will gain a lot through such measures," Shrivastava said.

Data is significant for the PSU's revenues. Data business is expected to generate Rs 1,500 crore out of Rs 13,500 crore revenue estimated through mobile business. "And, of nearly Rs 14,000 crore from fixed line business, half will be through broadband and data services," Shrivastava said.

Recently BSNL has announced the launch of WiFi Internet Service in Kochi also. See its' details below:

Kochi to be the First Corporation in India providing Free WiFi Connectivity to public though WiFi Hotspots in association with BSNL

Dear readers, please share your views about this ambitious project by BSNL via comments with us.

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