DocomoTata Docomo has tied-up with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to launch public Wi-Fi service in the Connaught Place area in Delhi. Wi-Fi service will be accessible at both the inner and outer circles of the CP area.

To use the Wi-Fi service, users will first need to authenticate with a valid mobile number. They will be provided with a one-time password (OTP) to login and use the service free for up to 20 minutes. To extend the time of Wi-Fi access, users need to recharge using recharge cards available online or at Tata Docomo retail outlets. Recharge cards cost Rs 50 for 180 minutes, Rs 20 for 60 minutes, and Rs 10 for 30 minutes of Wi-Fi access. However, it’s not clear what the speed of the Wi-Fi connection will be.

Earlier this year, Tata Teleservices had revealed plans of setting up 4,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in nine cities across India over the next two years. The company started setting up Wi-Fi hotspots at airports, restaurants, cafes and other businesses last year, including Wi-Fi hotspots in Delhi and Hyderabad airports and Starbucks outlets across India (a JV between Starbucks Coffee Company & Tata Global Beverages).

Other public Wi-Fi initiatives

– Last week, Public Wi-Fi service provider Ozone Networks had signed an agreement with Ericsson to provide a neutral Wi-Fi network across India. In the first stage of this project, Ozone will get 30,000 Wi-Fi access points, network management nodes and tools, along with various monetization options for the network, from Ericsson. These will include a way to offer various telecommunications operators a chance to reduce data load on their network by using the neutral Wi-Fi network to carry parts of the traffic.

– Railtel introduced free Wi-Fi service at Bangalore City railway station, last month. It’s free for only the first 30 minutes, after which users have to purchase extra browsing time online using a credit card or buy a scratch card at the Wi-Fi helpdesk at the station. For 30 minutes of extra browsing time commuters will have to pay Rs 25 and for 1 hour the price is Rs 35, and these are valid for 24 hours.

– Last month, Airtel & the Telangana government tied-up to launch public Wi-Fi hotspots in Hyderabad. Currently, 17 hotspot locations have been launched on a pilot basis across Hyderabad. Citizens will be able to use up to 750 MB data per day per user. However, it isn’t clear if this is a free service or if users need to pay a fee, and what’s the speed of the connection.

– Other telcos that have launched similar services, include Vodafone which had introduced a Wi-Fi zone for its customers at the Belvedere Rapid Metro Station in Gurgaon, government-owned MTNL which had announced plans of setting up of Wi-Fi hotspots for customers in Delhi and Mumbai, Reliance Jio which launched free Wi-Fi hotspots in eight locations at Ahmedabad and nine locations at Baroda and Surat, and Idea Cellular which had soft-launched its Wi-Fi service in 5 select cities – Ahmedabad, Cochin, Pune, Hyderabad, and Vizag, among others.