All you need to know about PM-WANI, India’s Public WiFi scheme


Team Udayavani, Dec 22, 2020, 12:19 PM IST

The Indian government has recently approved a new infrastructure scheme that could result in millions of public ‘grassroots’ Wi-Fi hotspots being deployed all over the country.

According to HT, The project Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface or PM-WANI  will have several components with public data offices (PDOs) being the point where wireless internet will be offered.

Additionally, businesses can set up aggregators to create a network of such PDOs, and develop and operate applications that will allow people to find and use services at such PDOs.

The aggregator will perform the functions relating to authorisation and accounting. Meanwhile, there will be an app provider that will develop the app for users to register on to the network, make payments to subscribe to the network and discover nearby hotspots.

A public data office can be a small shop, anyone can register as a PDO. They can get the internet bandwidth from a service provider. Aggregators will compile and keep information about the PDOs. One can directly get Wifi from PDOs

Also, as most of the public Wifis aren’t encrypted and risk of hacking is high, Indian government will make sure that the access to the Internet through these points will be permitted only through electronic KYC and a mix of OTP and MAC ID-based authentication system, thereby minimising the risk of network security being compromised.

According to the government, no license fee will be charged, which until now was 8% of the adjusted gross revenue, and those applying to run services as a PDO will not require to register with the Department of Telecom

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