Delhi’s Connaught Place, Khan Market & Karol Bagh To Get Free Wi-Fi HotSpots
Free WiFi hotspots are still a rarity in India. It is not unexpected as well. The internet speeds have not been particularly fast in India to have such spots. Before 3G networks became common, internet zones could only be created by broadband networks which themselves were no more than 4 Mbps. Now, with 4G around the corner, the idea is getting more traction.
Bangalore was the first city to offer free public internet. It has six WiFi spots with nine more in the pipeline.
Now, Delhi is going to get a taste of WiFi hotspots as well. That too in the markets of CP (Connaught Place), Khan market and Karol Bagh. These three are among the major markets in the city and are not very far from each other. The major hurdle in setting these up was the security issues which have been dealt with and smoothened out.
The internet will be free for the first 15-20 minutes after which the service will be chargeable. Also, the area of Khan market has been surveyed and places to put the server boxes have been decided. This means that we can expect the first hotspots to start by the month end. After it has been successfully executed, the project will move to CP and Karol Bagh.
For Khan Market, the companies Vodafone and Airtel have come together to provide the service via their 4G network.
In words to Sanjiv Mehra, president of Khan Market Traders Association- “Vodafone and Airtel have come together in Khan Market to provide the facility. A 4G network would be available to anyone entering the market. After the first 15-20 minutes, the service will be chargeable.”
Similarly, for CP, Tata Docomo has been approached who will cover the whole area of around 4 Kms. This will include both the inner circle as well as the outer circle.
Avinash Gabriel of Tata Docomo said the it will be quite easy for the users to switch to WiFi. He said- “The user will have to fill in details such as email ID and mobile number. After that, an OTP will be received to connect to the internet. The first 20 minutes of the service would be free each day. After that, the customer will have the option of buying a plan online or walking up to a counter to purchase scratch cards, starting from Rs 20 for 40 minutes and going up to Rs 50 for 100 minutes.”
The three markets have welcomed the move and traders believe that with this more customers will come to the shops. The main concern will obviously be security as these will be open internet connections. Service providers are supposed to ensure the safety once they get the permissions.
According to Jalaj Srivastava, NDMC chairperson- “After taking permission from the Centre, service providers will ensure that security is not compromised and it will be their responsibility to regulate the downloaded data.”
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