BSNL has published open policy for engagement of WiFi partners for providing WiFi Internet Services to Retail as well as Corporate Enterprise Customers on revenue share basis.
- Franchisee can provide WiFi Internet Service to Customers as Public WiFi Partner
- Public WiFi Partners will get maximum revenue share of 65%
- Different Franchisee Models available – Model I, Model II & Model III
- Public WiFi Partners can use BSNL’s Hardware and Software to rollout WiFi Services
Government of India has recently announced a new Public WiFi project under ‘PM WANI’ (Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) scheme which is primarily aimed removing the digital divide for internet access for rural population. The PM-WANI framework envisages provision of Broadband through Public WiFi Hotspot providers. It will consist of elements such as Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA), App Provider and Central Registry. Public WiFi hotspots hold an important place in the last-mile delivery of broadband to end users.
BSNL is already having 49,517 WiFi accesspoints in 31,836 hotspot locations all over India. To scale up BSNL’s WiFi business further, the PSU has made it’s WiFi policy more flexible and lucrative where empanelled WiFi partners can work with BSNL on revenue share basis. BSNL will be providing maximum revenue share of 65% under the scheme. BSNL has already deployed it’s WiFi core system with main site at Bangalore and DR (Disaster Recovery site) at Pune. BSNL Corporate Office has instructed all the telecom circles to engage public WiFi providers for providing WiFi Internet services to retail customers on revenue share basis under business model viz., Model-I, Model-II & Model – III for meeting the needs of end customers in a cost effective way.
Future Prospect of Public WiFi Business in India
The Internet is the single most self-empowering infrastructure available for a citizen in the 21st century. The World Bank observed that a 10% increase in internet penetration leads to a 1.4% increase in GDP. In India, access to data is still limited due to poor coverage of fiber/telecom and prohibitive pricing of cellular data. WiFi is a complementary, not competing technology to LTE. WiFi is much easier to scale than adding new LTE towers. It bolsters connectivity inside buildings, airports, etc. where LTE penetration is inherently limited. It allows for offloading from telecom networks to ease congestion, and will be crucial when the next billion IoT devices come online.
Different Public WiFi Business Models under BSNL’s Open WiFi Policy
Following the Corporate Office instructions, recently BSNL Kerala Telecom Circle has floated Expression of Interest (EoI) for empanelment of Public WiFi Partners (PWP) for Retail WiFi Services in Kerala Telecom Circle. BSNL’s existing Franchisees ( Bharat Fiber – FTTH / Air Fiber / Cluster – Landline ) can also enrole as Public WiFi Partner (PWP) under this latest revised public WiFi ploicy announced by BSNL. Existing FTTH Franchisee / Franchisee / Cluster Partners with good record of providing FTTH connections / BSNL services can apply for the empanelment. Various schemes are detailed in the table given below.
|Model Name||Capex & Opex for WiFi Core||Capex & Opex for WiFi Access Point||Sales & Marketing of Vouchers & Level 1 Maintenence of Hotspot including Housing & Power under retails model only|
BSNL will be adding WiFi partners under 3 different schemes viz – Model – I, Model – II & Model – III. BSNL’s existing WiFi Core and Access Points can be utilized under Model-I whereas in Model-II WiFi partner need to install Access Point by himself. In Model-III, WiFi partner need to install his Core as well as Access Points. In all the three schemes, Sales & Marketing activities, Level 1 maintenence of WiFi Hotspots including power supply lies with PDO (Public Data Office).
Public Data Office (PDO), is the acronym used for Retail Hotspot locations such as retail shops may be tea / coffee / groceries where good number of foot-falls are involved. PDOs partners shall work in conjunction with PWP as hardware and software enablement, sales / marketing of services, is primary responsibility of PWP only. BSNL will have revenue share arrangements with PWPs only. PWP shall in turn share revenue with PDO partners through their direct arrangements.
Terminology for WiFi Partner for Enterprise Customers & Retails Customers under Various Models
|Model Name||Terminology for WiFi Partner for Enterprise Customers||Terminology for WiFi Partner for Retail Customers|
Revenue share to Public WiFi Partners
BSNL will be signing revenue share agreements with Public WiFi Partners (PWPs) under three different business models. BSNL allows maximum revenue share of 65% under Model III. In model-II a public WiFi partner can avail 50% revenue share and 30% in model-I. Details are as given in the below table.
|Model Name||Revenue Share to PWP in Enterprise Plans||Revenue Share to PWP in Retail Plans|
Commercial arrangement between PWP and PDOs under retail plans shall be decided by PWP based on level of enablement done by PWP to the PDO partner and BSNL will not have any role to play. After 2 years (from the start of 1st WiFi hotspot commercialization for that partner, for subsequent years, the revenue share / discounts offered to PWP in model-II and III will be reduced to 45% and 60% respectively. It means, in Model-II and Model-III revenue share willbe 45% and 60% respectively after the completion of 2 years.
Broad level Roles and Responsibilities of BSNL and PWP in Model-I, Model – II & Model-III
BSNL PWP Model I :
WiFi Core & Access Points : Here, PWP / PDO is empaneled for providing WiFi Internet services to end users with BSNL’s infrastructure. PWP can use BSNL’s Software and Hardware support to provide WiFi Internet service to retail customers. BSNL will provide Core support, Access Points and accessories support to PWPs to extend services. BSNL’s FTTH / AIR FIBRE / Cluster partner having good record of the services may be empaneled as PWP/PDO in Model I.
Plans Available : BSNL’s Retail WiFi Plans
Last Mile Connectivity / Bandwidth to Access Point : BSNL shall extend till PDO premises via FTTH / Air Fiber.
Charges for Last Mile Connectivity / Bandwidth : Monthly rental / plans to be paid by PDOs to BSNL.
BSNL PWP Model II :
WiFi Core : PWP can use BSNL’s WiFi Core systems such as Captive portal, AAA, charging platform, etc. BSNL will take care Lawful Interception and Monitoring and regulatory compliance. BSNL will also provide support at Core and RPOP for confguration, O&M of the PWP deployed equipment.
WiFi Access Points : In Model II, PWP is empaneled for supply, Installation , Commissioning and O&M of WiFi Access systems at Enterprise Solution premises or at PDOs.
Plans Available : BSNL’s Enterprise WiFi Plans. In Enterprise Wifi Solution the Wifi services are given to a captive audience and the internet access is sponsored / paid by the enterprise shall be provisioned through the revenue share models.
Last Mile Connectivity / Bandwidth to Access Point : BSNL shall extend till PDO premises via Internet leased line. Any any extra expenditure incurred by BSNL on last mile , shall be billed to the customer and there shall be no revenue share on this with PWP. Monthly rental / plans to be paid by PDOs to BSNL
Charges for Last Mile Connectivity / Bandwidth : Various built in Enterprise Plans are availble for Enterprise Customers for various range of Access Points ( 1-4 AP, 5-10 AP and 11-20 AP etc). New plans shall also be introduced as per prevailing market conditions.
BSNL PWP Model III :
WiFi Core & Access Points : Here PWP will be empaneled for deployment of Core, Access and customer premises equipment or using existing HSSPs (Hot Spot Service Providers) for provisioning of WiFi Services.
In this model, the colocation of Core and access systems of PWP at NOC shall be permitted by BSNL. BSNL shall provide space, power and bandwidth for connecting the Core equipment free of cost. PWP shall supply, install and maintain the WiFi Core equipment such as WAG, WLC, EM / CMS / Captive
portal / DHCP, OC etc in the BSNL NOC. The equipment shall be commissioned after successful acceptance testingby BSNL WiFi NOC. They can provide both retail as well as enterprise business WiFi solutions to end customers.
For Retail WiFi Business : PWPs shall work on non-exclusive basis and shall engage PDOs by explaining business model. They should also technically train the PDO on self-service portal to understand the voucher sales and revenue earned.
For Enterprise WiFi Solution : Enterprise ales Team shall be appointed to work along with BSNL sales team, for improving the growth of Enterprise WiFi business in BSNL.
Eligibility Requirements for BSNL’s Public WiFi Partners
For Partners (PWPs) under Model I and Model II
- Any registered / partnership / proprietorship frm / society including existing Telecom Infra provider, having minimum turnover of Rs 2 lakhs per year during the last three consecutive years shall be eligible.
- The registered / partnership / proprietorship frm / society shall have worked with Telecom service Providers / ISPs for minimum 1 year.
- Existing FTTH Franchisee/Franchisee/Cluster Partners with good record of providing FTTH connections/B NL services shall be eligible to become Public WiFi Partners (PWPs Registration charges shall be applicable.
One Time Registration Charges
- For Model I : One time Registration charges (non-refundable) of Rs.5,000/- (Five thousand rupees only and applicable taxes shall be taken at the time of registration.
- For Model II : One time Registration charges (non-refundable) c of Rs.10,000/- (Ten thousand rupees only and applicable taxes shall be taken at the time of registration.
For Partners (PWPs) under Model III
- The frm shall be a company registered/incorporated in India under the Indian Companies Act, 1956 or 2013.
- The PWP or its parent company frm shall have minimum annual turnover of INR 1 Crore each during last two fnancial years i.e. 2018- 19 & 2019-2020.
- PWP or its parent company shall have experience of installing Wi-Fi Core & access infrastructure in India / abroad with working access points / Wi-Fi Hotspots.
Empanelment Fee for Model III
PWP shall be required to submit a non-refundable empanelment fee of Rs. 1 Lakh plus applicable taxes along with the agreement in the form of DD in favour of Accounts Officer (Cash), BSNL, New Delhi.
Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) for Model III
The PWP shall furnish PBG of Rs. 5 Lakh valid for 4 years from the date of signing of the agreement. BSNL reserves the right to take necessary action for cancellation of the agreement and forfeiture of PBG in case of non-performance by PWP.
Duration of the Contract under BSNL PWP Business Models
Duration of contract shall be 3 years from the date of award of work. After 1 year, the contract can be extended for 2 years on satisfactory service to customer. Renewal or extension of the agreement after 3 years period will be based on the performance of the PWP. There shall be lock in period of minimum 3 years for the PWP in order to ensure maintenance unless BSNL terminates the contract, the bidder is bound to provide services for 3 years. The exit during lock in period shall carry penalty in terms of surrender of all the equipment to the BSNL at no cost.
Revenue share Process Flow for Retail WiFi Business
The commercial arrangement with PWP in retail plans shall be on P2P basis (Principal to Principal), as done in C-top up wallet system. PWPs will purchase the wallet balance in advance from BSNL. Discounts to PWP as per various models will be provided upfront at the time of wallet purchase. The customer visiting the Hotspot of PDO will purchase a WiFi Data pack. On Purchase of data pack using online channel, money will be received by the PWP and the PWP wallet will be deducted while in case of direct sale at PDO, money received from the customer is paid to PDO and the wallet will be deducted with an equal amount. The mechanism of invoice sale from PWP to PDO or customer
will be handled by PWP only.
Revenue share Process Flow for Enterprise WiFi Business
BSNL will process revenue share / commission using it’s FMS (Franchisee Management System) system. FMS shall provide Revenue Report only after realization of revenue for any given enterprise customer. After generation of revenue reports on FMS , Payment of Bills to PWPs shall be made centrally at Circle level.
In the enterprise WiFi, customers shall be billed in advance for the annual charges. The PWP partner can be paid revenue share on quarterly basis for 25% of the annual charges for frst three quarters. In fourth quarter the charges shall be paid after settlement of SLA / related penalties agreed with customer. Rebates and compensation given by courts/TRAI/ any regulatory body to the customers, due to service defciency, if any, shall be deducted from the due payment to the channel partner.
BSNL To Register in PM-WANI Scheme as PDOA
To begin with retail services under PM-WANI scheme, BSNL has been asked to leverage its fiber and broadband infrastructure to PDOAs (Public Data Office aggregators) registered with DoT. BSNL has also been asked to register itself as PDOA and migrate its existing WiFi Access Points to PM-WANI framework for better utilization of Access points.
BSNL’s WiFi policy for empanelment of WiFi partners on revenue share basis has enormous potential in retail as well as in enterprise segment. With BSNL’s existing FTTH Franchisees, BSNL plans to capture a major chunk of Public WiFi business also.
Dear readers, please share this latest BSNL WiFi policy among all your friends and relatives using BSNL Services. This new WiFi policy will be an additional revenue source for BSNL’s existing FTTH / Air Fiber / Cluster Franchisee. Please do share this valuable information among all BSNL Franchisees who may be interested to start BSNL’s Public WiFi Business.