State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam will migrate 30,000 of its wifi hotspots to the PM-WANI framework by June, a senior telecom department official on Tuesday said, adding Railways too has an ambitious blueprint for all its future hotspots to be under the framework.
Speaking at Broadband India Forum (BIF) event, Vivek Narayan, DDG (data services) in the Department of Telecom (DoT) mentioned the potential and impact of the PM-WANI wifi hotspots scheme across areas, such as tourism, smart cities and last-mile connectivity in villages.
In a bid to fuel broadband internet proliferation across the country, the government, in December 2020, approved the setting up of public wifi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops through public data offices that will not involve any licence, fee or registration.
The public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface, known as PM-WANI, hold the promise of unleashing a massive wifi revolution in the country.
"BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd) would be migrating 30,000 of its hotspots into PM-WANI by June. Railways has already covered around 100 railway stations on PM WANI and is going to cover all its hotspots…there are around 17,000 hotspots of Railways…all of them would be covered under PM WANI by June,” Narayan said at the BIF event on Tuesday.
Moreover, Railways has also stated that all its future hotspots would be under the PM-WANI framework, he said, terming it a big achievement.
The event also witnessed the official launch of the BIF Connectivity Accelerator Program with the shortlisted top 10 ventures. BIF has partnered with Headstart Network Foundation and Meta for this initiative.
The top 10 ventures will be going through an intensive and fast-paced programme to scale their businesses.
The accelerator programme offers the ventures various elements of engagement to support them in their journey.
It offers masterclasses by experts in business, technology, investment, and marketing, as also mentorship by industry experts to not only guide them during the course of the programme but also to connect them with opportunities.
It also provides networking opportunities with corporates, BIF said in a statement.
The event saw the announcement of the top 10 ventures, which got selected for the accelerator programme after three intense rounds.These ventures — who attended and presented their solution/product at the session — included Wiom, XiFi Networks, Digigaon Job Factory, Matrecomm Technologies, and Aagile Business Associates, among others.