Bharti Airtel has deployed Wi-Fi services in 115 luxury A/C buses plying in Hyderabad city through a partnership with Telangana State Road Transport Corporation. The service will operate in pilot mode for the first 6 months. Any user with a valid Indian mobile number can avail the first 20 minutes of usage free for a day, after which he/she will need to buy data packs starting at Rs 25 for 100 MB of usage.
The WiFi service utilizes Airtel’s 4G network for Internet connectivity and provides access to all sites and application on the Internet. Users can connect to WiFi network manually via an One Time Password (OTP) sent to their mobile numbers. Note that In October 2014, Airtel had a similar tie-up with the Govt of Telangana to launch public Wi-Fi hotspots in 17 locations across Hyderabad.
Other Airtel WiFi deals
Last November, budget hotel room aggregator OYO Rooms and Airtel signed a deal to provide WiFi connectivity and direct-to-home (DTH) services in more than 3,000 OYO rooms. In August 2015, Airtel also struck a deal with Uber to equip Uber cabs with Airtel 4G WiFi service.
In March 2015, to take on Reliance Jio’s free WiFi service, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone had formed a joint venture called FireFly Networks to deploy WiFi services in the country. Following this, Firefly deployed WiFi at the Supreme Court premises in April 2015; in April this year, it deployed WiFi at Delhi’s Karkardooma Court Complex.
TRAI’s WiFi consultation paper
In a bid to speed up and ease setting up of WiFi services in India, telecom regulator TRAI suggested in a consultation paper that small shops, cafe and mall owners, telcos, ISPs, payment gateways, and even communities could step in and “divide the cost” of operating a WiFi hotspot. More on this here.
Recent WiFi projects
-Last month, BSNL said it would install 10,000 WiFi hotspots at government-owned schools in Kerala.
-In the same month, WiFi services in Delhi metro’s Airport Express line went live. WiFi service at Delhi Metro premises was announced in April.
– Last month, Vodafone and infrastructure provider GMR had tied up to deploy WiFi services at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi.
-In September, Google launched Google Station, a public WiFi platform which allows venues, companies, and locations to partner with it to provide high speed Internet.
–In the same month, Tamil Nadu government said it will offer free WiFi facilities in public spaces and in schools.
-Public Wi-Fi provider Ozone Networks deployed Wi-Fi services at 225 Café Coffee Day outlets in September.