Kolkata Becomes India’s First WiFi Metro City
Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal stirred the existing Digital India campaign when she tweeted:
All my WiFi friends, I am tweeting using #WiFiKolkata. So proud to be first WiFi Metro city in India. Congratulations to us all
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 5, 2015
Powered by Reliance Jio network, Kolkata has become the first Indian city to have 100% WiFi connectivity on 4G speed. Right now the service has been launched at the posh Park Street and surrounding areas such as Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Loudon Street, Russell Street and Little Russell Street, but as per the statement, the service would be soon rolled out in the entire city.
Speaking at the 39th International Kolkata Literature Festival, she said, “From February 5 a free 4G Wi-Fi internet service will be offered at the Park Street and its surrounding areas. And within next two months the whole of Kolkata will enjoy the free service.”
As per Mamata, free WiFi at Kolkata would cover all the 149 wards in the city, and will make the lives of its citizens completely networked, thereby making it smart, secured and simple.
Reliance Jio business head and state mentor (East) Tarun Jhunjhunwala said at the occasion, “Within next two months, the services will be offered in entire Kolkata and that will be the best in the country,”
As per reports coming in from various sources, Reliance Jio has earlier tested their speed, and found to be achieving upto 50 MBPS speed consistently. Reportedly, this WiFi service across Kolkata would be unlimited and completely free for the whole year. But considering the financial implications of such a state sponsored service, this looks highly unlikely.
Reliance Jio is the only company in India which has pan-India Broadband Wireless Access spectrum which can be used to provide 4G services anywhere in the country. They are investing close to Rs 3000 crore in West Bengal for spreading out Internet connectivity, and this free WiFi in Kolkata is part of this exercise.
Thus, Kolkata now joins mega cities like Singapore and Taipei which provides city-wide WiFi services for its citizens.
Bloggers in Kolkata are using the free WiFi service, and some have even shared their experience.
‘Free’ can be a claim which needs some further clarification, but certainly the service of city wide connectivity via WiFi certainly sounds great. If you are from Kolkata, then do share your experience of using this service.