India needs 80 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots: Study

The biggest challenge faced by the Digital India programme is the slow/delayed infrastructure development

GN Bureau | January 13, 2017


#Wifi   #Digital India   #Assocham   #FDI  


India needs over 80 lakh hotspots with a view to reach the global level of one Wi-Fi hotspot penetration for every 150 people, said a joint study carried out by ASSOCHAM and research firm Deloitte.

There are currently over 31,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots installed in India. However, for India to match the current global average of one public Wi-Fi hotspot per 150 people, an additional 80 lakh hotspots need to be deployed, says the study ‘Digital India: Unlocking the Trillion Dollar opportunity.

The biggest challenge faced by the Digital India programme is the slow/delayed infrastructure development. Spectrum availability in Indian metros is about a tenth of the same in cities in developed countries. This has put a major roadblock in providing high speed data services.

For Digital India to have a large scale impact on citizens across the nation, the digital divide needs to be addressed through last mile connectivity in remote rural areas. Currently, over 55,000 villages remain deprived of mobile connectivity. This is largely due to the fact that providing mobile connectivity in such locations is not commercially viable for service providers, adds the joint study.

“For digital technology to be accessible to every citizen significant efforts are needed to customize apps and services to cater to local needs. Finding vendors who can provide such applications has become a challenge”.

Some of the common policy hurdles includes lack of clarity in FDI policies. Transport services like Uber have had frequent run-ins with the local government due to legacy policy frameworks which have not become attuned to the changing business landscape.

Implementation of the Digital India program has been hampered by contracting challenges such as several projects assigned to PSUs are delayed given challenges related to skills, experience and technical capabilities. Several RFPs issued by the government are not picked up by competent private sector organizations since they are not commercially feasible.

The reports suggest that, as recently as 2014, nearly 70% of Indian consumers indicated that lack of awareness was the main reason for not using internet services. Non-availability of digital services in local languages is also a major concern, noted the study.

With the proliferation of cloud-based services like DigiLocker, data security has emerged as a major challenge. The recent data breach in August 2016, in which debit card data for more than 3.2 million subscribers was stolen highlights the importance of implementing foolproof security systems, adds the study.

Development of digital infrastructure is a critical component of Digital India. To further enable development of digital infrastructure, the following measures should be considered as uniform policies for deploying telecom and optic fibre infrastructure.

Satellite communication solutions could be used to speed up broadband access in rural and remote areas. For instance, banks can use VSAT technology to connect remote ATMs, remote branches that need instant access to customer data. It could be used as a last mile connectivity solution in rural areas which lack telecom networks. Another example could be of the navigational system NAVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), which can have applications in terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, precise timing, mapping and geodetic data capture, terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers and visual/ voice navigation for drivers.

Read: Digital India will touch, empower you
 

Comments

 

Other News

AAI plans development of Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad airports

The airports at Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad would be spruced up by Airports Authority of India to improve and develop infrastructure to meet growing traffic demands. The authority plans to construct a new integrated passenger terminal building at Chaudhary Charan Singh Internation

Housing for all: A realisable dream

The Indian constitution states that “the state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people, protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political for all.” It is on these basic values that India continues to endeavour to provide its people bas

Why judicial reforms matter

Two path-breaking judgments by the Supreme Court on privacy and triple talaq were a reminder of how much we have begun to rely on the judiciary to make sense of a conflicted world. Seventy years after Independence, India’s judiciary has many accomplishments to its credit. A large judicial infrastruct

Sail supplies 80% steel for Sardar Sarovar project

Maharatna enterprise Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has said that it supplied 80 percent steel required for construction of the Sardar Sarovar Project unveiled by prime minister Narendra Modi.    SAIL supplied around 85,000 tonnes of steel for the entire Sardar

Why university and college teachers are unhappy across the country

College and university teachers all across the country seem too much worried about the policy shift with respect to their pay and regulations from centre to states. Therefore, they may be gearing up for an indefinite movement in the coming days, a situation that was built only during the previous regime of

Sardar Sarovar saga reaches closure, finally

After a long wait of almost half a century, filled with more twists and turns than the river Narmada’s, the Sardar Sarovar project is finally complete.   Prime minister Narendra Modi dedicated the multipurpose project to the nation on Sunday, which also happened to be h



Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter