Public WiFi hotspots will require users to install an app and authenticate themselves with a one-time password, according to guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications. Public WiFi hotspots have been held back by regulatory uncertainty and security conditions, some of which seem to be continuing with the DoT's new guidelines. The WiFi Access Network Interface (WANI) system means that different hotspot providers could potentially require different apps, and users can’t just sign in to WiFi hotspots instantly. While this requirement is less problematic than requiring Aadhaar numbers from users, as originally suggested, it still adds friction to the process that doesn’t exist for mobile data, which is cheaper than anywhere else in the world in India. What’s more, digital payment options are mandatory, which some users may not be in a position to use. Public WiFi hotspots face an uphill battle in India; Google pulled out of the over 400 WiFi hotspots it helped install in Indian railway stations, handing over control and possible revenues to RailTel, a government ISP. Telecom operators disapprove of hotspots as they disapprove of commercialising WiFi, which they argue should only be available for personal use. It’s unclear what the government achieves with authenticated WiFi connections, as even the most rudimentary VPN technology can make it nearly impossible for authorities to track down wrongdoers online, or at least connect their actions to individual WiFi hotspots. Also read Cabinet Clears Public WiFi Plan, Public Data Offices To Be Set Up Without License Fee DoT to…
- MediaNama Daily: It’s not you, it’s your data January 28, 2023
- Why is Google not fully complying with India’s orders, MapmyIndia CEO asks January 27, 2023
- Unique Identification Authority of India working on age verification through e-KYC January 27, 2023
- Views: Why India’s “indigenous” smartphone operating system BharOS is overhyped January 27, 2023
- Here’s why Twitter employees’ access to its ‘God Mode’ function is a problem January 27, 2023
MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.
India's smartphone operating system BharOS has received much buzz in the media lately, but does it really merit this attention?
After using the Mapples app as his default navigation app for a week, Sarvesh draws a comparison between Google Maps and Mapples
The regulatory ambivalence around an instrument so essential to facilitate data exchange – the CM framework – is disconcerting for several reasons.
The provisions around grievance redressal in the Data Protection Bill "stands to be dangerously sparse and nugatory on various counts."
Please subscribe to MediaNama. Don't share prints and PDFs.
You May Also Like
Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...
135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...
Twitter takes down tweets from MP, MLA, editor criticising handling of pandemic upon government request
By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...