In early December the Government of India confirmed its plan to finally launch the so-called ‘PM-WANI’ national public Wi-Fi hotspot program’ – and now, only weeks later, the first ‘PDO’ (‘Public Data Office’ meaning Wi-Fi hotspot) has come online.
Delhi-based startup i2e1 has announced the launch of Public Data Offices (PDO) Wi-Fi access points in India. According to the company, the PDO which has been established in South Delhi’s Kusumpur Pahadi area will allow the area residents to access 50Mbps high-speed and unlimited internet at Rs 5 per day with no registration.
The company aims to create over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots across India by offering instant and easy access to high-speed and reliable internet through their TRAI approved devices.
These internet booths will establish, maintain and operate Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers without any required registration which will, in turn, increase employment opportunities and give a boost to the government’s Digital Bharat vision, the company said.
According to the PM-WANI scheme, as provided by i2e1, any retailer can become a Wi-Fi hotspot at a cost of only 250 Rupees or about US$3.50 a month. The PM-WANI scheme will be competing against mobile broadband in India, a market dominated by local MNO giant Reliance Jio. The lowest denomination mobile broadband bundle available sold by Jio today is 2 GB of mobile data for 98 Rupees or US$1.34, valid for a month.