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Telecom Operators to Submit New Public Wifi Model by Monday

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is discussing a middle path with the operators for rolling out public wifi services after they opposed the model recommended by the regulator TRAI, saying it will adversely impact the debt-ridden industry and compromise national security as announced by ET.

Telecom

Telecom operators will submit a new model early next week for the rollout of 10 lakh public wifi hotspots after they rejected the plan suggested by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is discussing a middle path with the operators for rolling out public wifi services after they opposed the model recommended by the regulator TRAI, saying it will adversely impact the debt-ridden industry and compromise national security as announced by ET.

” Telecom operators have given a presentation on technical architecture for public wifi model. They will submit the rollout model for 1 million wifi hotspots by Monday. They will roll out pilots after DoT accepts it,” said Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary.

Sundararajan added that the DoT will examine the model, security requirements etc before approving the operators’ version.

A senior representative of a telecom operator, whose identity was not disclosed said that if DoT approves their model then 10 lakh wifi hotspots can be rolled out within a year.

Based on existing rules for cyber cafes, the TRAI had recommended that a new set of players to be called Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA) should be allowed to resell internet services through yesteryears PCOs type of set-up that will be called Public Data Offices. But, telecom operators had unanimously opposed the TRAI model which was also approved by the Telecom Commission.

Industry body COAI had argued that Internet services can be provided by a telecom license holders only and the scope of PDOA recommended by TRAI is similar to that of internet service provider license holder.

It had outlined that a license is required even if the Internet services are provided to end customers using de-licensed spectrum band, however, no such condition has been imposed on unlicensed entities, who will make use of de-licensed bands of commercial purposes.

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