Data Resale Will Massively Push WiFi Across India; But Will DoT Allow This?
TRAI says data resale it will massively push the usage of WiFis across India.
90s kids will remember the presence of PCO or Public Call Office across cities and villages – They used to be outlets where anyone could make a call and pay the operator for it.
The introduction of mobile phones and cheap calls abolished the concept of PCOs; but now, a new, reformed model is being proposed, which will offer Internet instead of calls via such PCOs.
Technically, this is called data resale, and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has strongly recommended this model for the push of public WiFi, across India.
But Department of Telecom or DoT still hasn’t allowed this.
Will this become a reality in India?
Data Resale: The New PCO Model of India
Last year, TRAI had recommended the concept of data resale in India – entities can be allowed to resale data in the form of WiFi packs.
Say a small kiosk in a remote village is allowed to resell data.
They can establish a hotspot, which will provide high-speed broadband Internet via WiFi to anyone with a mobile phone or laptop. WiFi packs can be devised, based on 30 minutes or an hour’s validity.
ISPs can provide the data network to such entities, which can resell the data in small packs, meant only for WiFi usage.
TRAI calls them Public Data Offices (PDOs), and it will massively push the usage of WiFis across India.
In their consultation paper, TRAI had said,
“The Authority is well aware of the fact that introduction of PDO along with an aggregator would entail resale of data services as is already allowed in the case of a cyber café model.
TRAI strongly believes that such model will only expand WiFi usage across the nation, but also provide employment and business opportunities.
But DoT Hasn’t Allowed This Yet!
The proposals were sent to DoT by TRAI last year after a consultation paper was launched, and viewpoints of the general public were sought.
As per TRAI Chairman, the idea and the concept proved to be a great hit, as 96.3% of the respondents felt that the concept will work. And 3% suggested even more interesting ideas to make the system robust.
As per TRAI, there are around 35,000 WiFi spots in India, and the majority of them are around airports, malls and commercial establishment.
Creation of PDOs will make the access even more uniform, and can WiFis can seep into deep rural hinterland as well.
TRAI had said,
“Public wi-fi services can enable mobile data to be dynamically offloaded/shared to ensure continuous connectivity along with desired quality of service (QoS),”
Now, all eyes are set on DoT, which is expected to allow this concept of data resale and change the equations of the game.
We will keep you updated.