Public WiFi will onboard 40 million new people onto the internet and contribute $20 billion to India’s GDP by 2019, according to an Analysys Mason report commissioned by Google. The report comes as Google completes its goal of having WiFi hotspots under its Google Station brand in 400 stations. "Despite fast increases in a number of people connected [to the internet], mobile broadband penetration in India stood at only 31% at the end of 2017," Google and Analysys said. The report urges that TRAI and the telecom department need to do more to enable this WiFi hotspot growth. Specifically, the report says: The costs of deploying public Wi-Fi hotspots need to be managed. This implies that more spectrum should be available for Wi-Fi, that rights of way be obtainable in straightforward and low-cost manner, that active sharing of Wi-Fi infrastructure be allowed, that Wi-Fi aggregator hub-based model be encouraged and that issues around authentication, licensing and payments be resolved. The report [PDF] says that Public WiFi will connect 40 million new users to the Internet by 2019 and that around 100 million people would be willing to spend an additional USD 2 to 3 billion per year on handsets and a similar amount on cellular mobile broadband services, as a result of experiencing fast broadband on public WiFi. Analysys pointed out that telcos can benefit from using technologies like Hotspot 2.0 — where phones automatically switch from a carrier's mobile data to nearby WiFi routers seamlessly. Jio uses this technology in…
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