Hon’ble Minister, Manoj Sinha, announced that the Indian telecom industry will rollout one million WiFi hotspots in the country by December 2019, which is another step towards the digital empowerment of the nation.
Bharat Wi-Fi, a country-wide common inter-operable platform of one million Wi-Fi Hotspots, owned and operated by Telecom Service Providers, Internet Service Providers and Virtual Network Operators will be rolled out across the country. This initiative allows consumers to access Wi-Fi Hotspots of any of the partnering operators.
The National Frequency Allocation Plan 2018 (NFAP) was unveiled during the inauguration presenting a pioneering roadmap for the Indian digital communications industry. The NFAP released a quantum of 605 MHz license exempt spectrum in 5GHz band for Wireless Access Services and Radio Local Area Networks in outdoor, to meet the ever-growing appetite for data (from a current figure of 50 MHz since 2007). The NFAP also offered over 30 license exempt bands for Short Range Devices (SRDs), Ultra-Wideband Devices (UWDs) and additional spectrum for M2M services, creating opportunities for the public to enjoy benefits from technologies and enabling the industry to build domestic manufacturing ecosystem. India signalled its spectrum plans for 5G services aspiring to adopt the next generation technology as a leading market.
In a major policy initiative, which will give impetus to small and medium entrepreneurship in Telecom Sector, DoT decided to deduct payments for resources taken by Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) from telecom service providers, thereby reducing levies payable by VNOs. This avoids double taxation at various stages.
A concrete plan is in making by the DoT to enable homegrown technologies for trials in the field on a large scale to enable the development and the scaling up of the products and services.
The day 1 witnessed many rousing announcements by the industry and demos of the state of the art 5G applications by global OEMs. Investments of approximately over INR 2000 crores and over 3 lakh jobs are expected to be created.