Telcos and Wi-Fi providers should collaborate on business models, says TRAI chief

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TRAI Chairman PD Vaghela on Monday urged telecom companies and Wi-Fi providers to work collaboratively on developing innovative business models that would unleash the combined power of mobile and Wi-Fi technology to improve the digital infrastructure.

Speaking at a Broadband India Forum (BIF) event, the TRAI chief noted that with the proposed induction of 5G services, an “exponential” increase in data usage is imminent.

“With technologies such as Industry 4.0, 5G streaming, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, machine-to-machine communication and robotics, data usage will grow exponentially,” Vaghela said. .

Studies have shown that in 5G countries such as South Korea, UK, USA, Japan, Australia and Germany, smartphone users consume an average of 1.7 to 2 7 times more mobile data after the introduction of fifth generation services, compared to 4G. .

He called on telecom service providers and Wi-Fi hotspot providers to work together and come up with India-specific business models.

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“If you want to leverage the combined power of mobile and Wi-Fi technology to improve our digital infrastructure, increase digital inclusion and take us globally, telecommunications companies and Wi-Fi providers need to start working together and develop innovative business models that are win-wins for both, as well as consumers,” Vaghela said.

The head of TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) also spoke about the emergence of public Wi-Fi as one of the most effective ways to enhance broadband connectivity and digital proliferation.

“Bearing in mind the constraints of mobile spectrum and network infrastructure, we need a complementary framework of Wi-Fi, including public Wi-Fi. Global Wi-Fi, especially Wi-Fi -Fi public, has become one of the most effective way to improve connectivity and the proliferation of broadband”, he underlined.

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There is a tremendous opportunity in India for the proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots, he observed citing statistics on how the penetration of public Wi-Fi hotspots in India is below levels global.

“Comparing it to global penetration and usage, there can be no doubt about the growth prospects of Wi-Fi in India… Public Wi-Fi can benefit the people, the economy and the community. the nation…those who are digitally excluded can have high-speed connectivity via Wi-Fi,” Vaghela asserted.

Recognizing this, the 2018 National Digital Communication Policy set a target of 10 million public Wi-Fi hotspots by 2022.

“However, we are way behind that goal,” he said. TRAI has been aware of the need to promote Wi-Fi in India and has suggested enabling measures from time to time.

He said that in the future, the expected arrival of next-generation “Wi-Fi 6” will further reinforce the need for a robust public Wi-Fi network in the country.

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“A robust public Wi-Fi network will help deliver ultra-high capacity, high-speed, and highly secure broadband services to consumers in synergy with the PM WANI model. Wi-Fi 6 will be several times faster than standard Wi-Fi. -Fi current and will deliver better performance for every megahertz of the spectrum,” Vaghela said.

He further mentioned that “Wi-Fi 7” is also on the horizon and is expected to significantly increase data download speeds and offer lower latencies.

“It would really help complement 5G technology and improve the overall quality of services,” he said.

“PM WANI”, despite its promising framework, has not made the desired progress, perhaps due to competition with cheap mobile data or other factors such as the need to raise public awareness, a- he declared.


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