Industry

Microsoft pitches for ‘White-Fi’ to provide last mile connectivity

Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said the company was talking to all stakeholders, including the government, for its ‘White-Fi’ technology to provide last mile connectivity.

Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said the company was talking to all stakeholders, including the government, for its ‘White-Fi’ technology to provide last mile connectivity.   | Photo Credit: Ted S. Warren

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Other countries where Microsoft has helped implement the technology are Kenya, Singapore, the U.S. and London.

Microsoft is looking at starting a pilot project of its ‘White-Fi’ technology that uses the unused spectrum in frequencies used for broadcasting of television signals, and is likely to offer solution to tackle the problem of last mile broadband connectivity in the country.

“In a country of massive change, digital divide can pose serious challenge. In all the initiatives by the government — Digital India, Swachh Bharat or Jan-Dhan Yojna — technology has a role to play, and we want to be part of it,” Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said, adding that at present, the company was talking to all stakeholders, including the government, for its ‘White-Fi’ technology to provide last mile connectivity.

“We are waiting for licence to start our pilot of the technology. Where ever spectrum is involved government permission in needed… We will start with IIIT, Bangalore. We may start with the campus, but want to take it to rural areas to see how it works with all natural barriers,” he added.

The pilot, once started, is expected to last for about three months. Other countries where Microsoft has helped implement the technology are Kenya, Singapore, the U.S. and London.

The 200-600 MHz frequency is used for TV channels to carry data. In India, 93 per cent of this spectrum is not utilised.

‘White-Fi’ will use this vacant spectrum to provide connectivity.

In technology parlance, these unused spectrum spaces are called White Space, and many technology companies are looking at using this to provide free last mile internet access to users.

Under the ‘Digital India’ initiative, the government plans to use the national optic fibre network project to deliver e-services to all corner of the country.

While this network will be deployed at the gram panchayat level, reaching the end consumer may still require wireless technology, particularly in far flung areas.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2019 11:56:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/microsoft-pitches-for-whitefito-provide-last-mile-connectivity/article6701718.ece

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