Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan on Friday said the government, along with telecom operators and the telecom regulator, is working on the deployment of an interoperable Wi-Fi ecosystem. Speaking at an event organised by the Broadband India Forum (BIF), Sundararajan said that such an ecosystem would provide cheaper high-speed data and foster demand for low-cost devices.
"Indian manufacturers can take advantage of this and in the process also create the potential for 1-2 million jobs in the sector. Public Wi-Fi has the potential to add up to $20 billion to India's GDP in a relatively short period of time," Sundararajan said. She said that the release of 605 megahertz (Mhz) of spectrum constitutes the largest release of delicensed spectrum in the world, greater than even the US and the European Union.
This would have a catalytic and cascading effect on the entire telecom ecosystem, including handset manufacturers, Internet service providers and other stakeholders, as many more Indians will be able to access high quality bandwidth at extremely low cost and will use more affordable devices, she said. TV Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum, said, "Being one of the most price-sensitive markets globally, India's need for an additional, license-exempt 605 MHz in the 5 GHz (gigahertz) band cannot be underestimated. In fact, the need is going to be for much more Wi-Fi spectrum from other bands in the future."
(With inputs from agencies.)