Trai Paper to Promote Wi-Fi in Public Places
New Delhi: Trai will soon float a consultation paper on ways to promote Wi-Fi in public places with easy payment options, which could help decongest carrier networks and improve services while deepening broadband availability. The paper will come when top telcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and new entrant Reliance Jio are deploying Wi-Fi networks in what could be a new battleground for higher-paying data customers. Airtel and Vodafone have also launched Wi-Fi hotspot apps to offload data traffic and ease pressure on cellular networks, while Jio may do the same after its launch expected later this year.
Use of Wi-Fi in public places hasn’t taken off, mainly due to cumbersome authentication procedures and challenges around monetising the services.
“We will soon float the consultation which will try to find ways in which both the user of public Wi-Fi and providers are able to benefit,” RS Sharma, chairman of Trai, told ET.
The paper will try to recommend certain ‘payment gateways’ that will ease the usage of Wi-Fi.
“Once a user logs into a public Wi-Fi, the provider should make it clear that this is the per-megabyte payment charge or the price for using the Wi-Fi for a time period, say half an hour, at the end of which the provider should also inform the user the charge for usage,” Sharma said, explaining that access to public Wi-Fi and payment for usage should be seamless, painless and transparent.