Kerala: 1,000 wi-fi spots in public places with BSNL support

Deccan Chronicle.  | Arjun Raghunath

Nation, Current Affairs

The bandwidth would be around 10 mbps and the range would be 50 square metres.

BSNL logo.

Thiruvananthapuram: About 1,000 wi-fi hot spots have been set up at public places across the state to provide free internet connectivity to the public as part of the state government's initiative  to set up 2,000 such  hot spots.  A formal launch of the digital initiative is likely to be held along with the LDF government's anniversary celebrations from May 18. The Kerala State IT Mission has done it with technical support of BSNL and a private firm  at   places like government offices, bus stands, railway stations and city and town centres.

Up to 300 MB free internet data usage per day and unlimited access to e-governance services and applications are the highlights of the initiative. The bandwidth would be around 10 mbps. Up to 200 devices can  access from each hot spot simultaneously and the range would be around 50 square metres. If the number of simultaneous users is  low, each user could have better bandwidth.

For authentication purposes, each user will have to make a one-time registration. It will also have roaming facility which enables a device to get automatically connected from one hot spot to another while the user is on the move.Kerala State IT Mission sources said that almost all the 1,000 public wi-fi spots were already operational, though a formal commissioning was not done. Steps for installation of about 1,000 more hot spots were also  on.

The 1000 public wi-fi hot spot project was initially announced in 2016. Last year,  it was enhanced to 2,000 and the government is planning to increase  it further.  Places  like government offices, bus stands, railway stations, airports, shopping centres, important junctions, major educational institutions, hospitals and parks would be covered under the scheme.

BSNL sits on 4g expansion
Even as the BSNL  launched 4G services after a long wait  in Udumban-chola in Idukki district as a pilot project in February, its expansion to other regions  is dragging on. BSNL Kerala telecom circle chief general manager P.T. Mathew told reporters here on Friday that the installation of 710 4G-base transceiver station (BTS) would be initiated soon. “We have placed orders for the equipment. It is likely to be delivered in a month and the installation may take another couple of months,” he said.

Mr. Mathew launched international roaming facility in Saudi Arabia for prepaid mobile subscribers on the occasion. He said that BSNL Kerala circle had set a target of adding 24 lakh more mobile customers during the current fiscal. At present it has  a customer base of 1.05 crore, which is the second highest in the state. 

He said that the quality of mobile services of BSNL was much better compared to the private players and the regulatory authority had also appreciated it.  The average rate of porting-in of customers from other networks to the BSNL was double that of those porting out of BSNL, he added.