Business

Wi-fi hotspots coming soon to a store near you

The neighbourhood grocery store may well become the first port of call for using data services on mobile devices, especially in the hinterland where data connectivity is patchy and laying optic fibre cable not feasible.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is finalising a recommendation to allow a community model of wi-fi hotspots that users can connect to seamlessly in return for a payment to the hotspot hosts, in a bid to improve India’s poor broadband connectivity levels.

It is also developing a proof– of concept to enable people to seamlessly latch on to any wi-fi hotspot they come across, without a one-time password or credit card payment hassles.

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“We believe that the community model of wi-fi hotspots will really work. A grocery shop fellow is allowed to sell the bandwidth on his wi-fi hotspot and people are easily able to get onto it, use it to make digital transactions and satisfy their other data needs,” TRAI chairman R.S. Sharma said on Wednesday, adding that a recommendation to this effect is expected to be sent to the telecom ministry later this month.

Calling Data the new currency, the TRAI chief said that India needed to do a lot of work on improving data connectivity as it fares even worse than countries such as Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Vietnam on fixed line broadband infrastructure.

“This will create a wonderful system because then that grocery shop fellow will be able to sell his goods and people will be able to use the data to make transactions also digitally,” Mr. Sharma said at an IAMAI event.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 5:29:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Wi-fi-hotspots-coming-soon-to-a-store-near-you/article17264038.ece

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