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Why Don’t Indian Airports Offer Free WiFi To Passengers?


Tata DOCOMO has inked an exclusive agreement with GMR Airports to offer Wi-Fi services at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad.

Tata DOCOMO informed that it will be offering Wi-Fi services across the entire airport including private airline lounges. Passengers can access free Wi-Fi service for 45 minutes, following which they will have to pay for the service online, to continue using the Wi-Fi service.

It’s not clear as to how much Tata DOCOMO plans to charge users for the service after the free 45 mins period, although an article suggests that Tata is offering various packages starting from Rs 50 and seems to be offering the service in Hyderabad from September 2012.

There is no official information on how does the online payment mechanism works, although the same article suggests that users can pay for the Wi-Fi service through their credit card or their net banking account, following which the access details are sent through SMS. Tata DOCOMO follows a similar procedure in the Bangalore International Airport while Aircel also follows a similar procedure in the Delhi International Airport. But this implementation sucks and it rarely worked for us whenever we tried it.

Why Not Offer Free WiFi? We are not sure why Airports don’t offer free WiFi service as a value added service to its passengers, rather than opting for this freemium model? Buses already do and Indian Railways had launched a pilot project to provide free Wi-Fi facility earlier this year.

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As far as I remember, Bangalore Airport used to initially offer a free WiFi service to its passengers, however sometime in 2011, they replaced it with Tata DOCOMO’s WiFi service which offers only 45 minutes of free WiFi to passengers.

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