New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has tied up with state owned telco MTNL to deploy WiFi hotspots at Connaught Place (CP) and Khan Market areas of Delhi, reports PTI. Note that NDMC had earlier partnered with Tata Docomo in 2014 to deploy WiFi in the same areas.
The report added that earlier WiFi service deployed by NDMC and Docomo was “loosing popularity” due to poor connectivity. However, we doubt that the newly announced WiFi service in Khan Market might gain any popularity given that it is being offered at an average speed of 512 Kbps. First 20 minutes of usage within a 24-hour period is free after which usage is charged.
The Delhi government had earlier announced plans to roll out 1000 WiFi hotspots in 571 locations beginning with East Delhi and a Fibre-to-Home service for high-speed broadband. The PTI report added that these plans were stalled after the Delhi HC asked NDMC to not to award tenders until it hears a plea filed by Reliance Jio challenging the tender process. Accordingly, the municipality has issued new tenders for these projects.
Currently, Delhi has WiFi services available across its metro stations through a tie up with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, and network providers including Techno Sat Comm and PING Network. Vodafone had deployed WiFi at Delhi’s IGI Airport in October. Firefly Netwroks owned by Airtel and Vodafone installed WiFI services at Delhi’s Karkardooma Court Complex in April last year.
Other state-sponsored WiFi projects
Recently several state-sponsored public WiFi initiatives were announced including 500 WiFi hotpsots that went live in Mumbai city last week, Tamil Nadu’s plan for free WiFi facilities in public spaces and internet in schools and BSNL’s plan to install 10,000 hotspots at government-owned schools in Kerala.
Last week BSNL said it will install 3000 hotspots across 1,518 gram panchayats in the state of Assam. Similarly, in November last year, the Karnataka government launched WiFi services in 11 panchayat areas of Mysore, Tumakuru, Gadag, Ballari, Kalaburgi and Bagalkot.