Ecommerce platform Amazon is offering free Wifi internet with unlimited usage across select bus stops in Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai, reports Trak.in. However, it looks like a promotional offer, rather than a permanent thing as the initiative is active only till the 3rd of August.
Free Wifi will be provided at the Secunderabad bus junction, Ameerpet and Dilsukh Nagar in Hyderabad, MG Road, JM Road and Bund Garden Road in Pune and at Santhome High Road, Dr. Nair Road, Egmore High Road and Velachery High Road in Chennai. The company mentions that it will have representatives at these Wifi locations, to help first times users register and login for the service, and apparently to shop on Amazon.
This is an interesting initiative from Amazon, although it’s not clear if the company is running a limited promotional campaign, or running a ‘beta’ program, with future public Wifi offerings in mind. The public Wifi space has been really picking up steam in India, although questions over security and privacy remain. The rising interest in public Wifi is helped by the fact that mobile data charges keep getting higher while smartphone adoption is at an all time high.
Other public Wifi initiatives undertaken in India:
– In October last year, the Government of Telangana had tied-up with Bharti Airtel to launch public Wi-Fi hotspots in Hyderabad. In April this year, Hyderabad became the first city in the south zone to have BSNL Wifi internet.
– In June, Airtel won the mandate for the launch of Wi-Fi services in Gurgaon from the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG). The company said that it would soon roll out WiFi services at MG Road, Sadar Bazaar, Sector 29, Sirhaul Village and Leisure Valley Park at a speed of 2Mbps for mobile internet users.
– It’s worth noting that Airtel had piloted Wifi at Cyberhub in Gurgaon for a while, and its competitor Vodafone provided WiFi at a metro station near Cyberhub. The two have a joint venture, FireFly Networks, and had recently installed WiFi services at the Supreme Court of India. You can read more about this here.
– In April, Airtel also sought permission from the West Bengal government to set up Wi-Fi hotspots across Kolkata in competition with Reliance Jio, which had tied-up with the West Bengal government to introduce 4G-enabled free Wi-Fi service in some parts of the city.
– Sistema Shyam, which operates under the MTS brand in India, tied up with Indian Railways in April this year, to offer WiFi services at railway stations across India.
– In November last year, Tata Docomo tied-up with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to launch public Wi-Fi service in the Connaught Place area in Delhi.
– BSNL launched free WiFi in Varanasi in February this year.
– Free Wifi was launched in Patna in February last year.
– Apart from cities and towns, in the previous year, the citizens of Trikaripur village in Kasaragod district of Kerala got access to free Wi-Fi connectivity on their mobile phones through an optical fiber network of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
– In January last year, Bangalore had become the first city to have free WiFi hotspots called Namma WiFi, on M G Road, Brigade Road and four other locations in Bangalore.
– In June this year, state-run telecom operator BSNL tied up with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to provide WiFi hotspots for tourists at the Taj Mahal. At the time, the agency mentioned that Fatehpur Sikri fort was next in line for getting public Wifi, with more monuments in the pipeline.