NEW DELHI: Data guzzlers out there can soon buy low-cost Wi-Fi-powered data packs from neighbourhood Kirana shop or even a humble ‘thelawallah’, or street vendor.
Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) has developed a mass market ‘public data office’ (PDO) tech solution priced under Rs 50,000 to deliver low-cost Wi-Fi solutions.
Armed with a PDO device, a kirana shop or a thelawallah can sell Wi-Fi data vouchers at denominations as low as Rs 10.
The tech solution packs hardware and software elements that include a Wi-Fi access point along with e-KYC (know your customer), OTP (one-time password) authentication and a voucher management mechanism. The electrically powered device also includes a billing system.
Last month, telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had asked the department of telecom (DoT) to tweak internet service provider (ISP) permit rules, free up new spectrum bands, and expedite steps to make Wi-Fi access devices cheaper to pave the way for affordable Wi-Fi services in public places, and in turn, boost broadband penetration.
The involvement of aggregators and small entrepreneurs, the regulator had said, would also boost employment opportunities and encourage entrepreneurship in rural areas. It also suggested that aggregators be allowed to partner with third-party application/service providers for managing authentication and payment processes for such Wi-Fi services.