The free WiFi service in Bhubaneswar city will begin from 14 August 2015 for a month on an experimental basis. While the first 30 minutes will be completely free, the users will have to pay for extra usage after that.
A user can use the free service once in a day through his/her mobile, laptop or tablet. Internet speed will be higher than 512 kbps. He/she has to provide his/her mobile number and name first in the form displayed on screen. Then he/she can use free Wi-Fi service for half an hour.
The users are expected to give their feedbacks to the companies and the authorities – which would help in choosing the firm that would provide the permanent service in the future.
An official with the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) said 6 Internet service providers had been chosen for the trial that would work as proof of concept (PoC) for Wi-Fi project in Bhubaneswar. These companies will provide Wi-Fi at 10 different locations in the city.
The private firms chosen for the PoC stage of the project include Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Bharati Inffratel, Orange Softech and Ortel. The service will be launched on August 14 on an experimental basis and later expanded to all areas.
The official said the proof of concept would focus on several parameters such as reliability and robustness, cost-effectiveness, timeliness, compatibility of the technology to the ecosystem, customer feedback and user friendliness. Besides, they would also check the regulatory and security compliances, legal aspects and use of the existing set-up and whether the new system would be able to meet the users’ expectations.
Director of the STPI, Bhubaneswar, Manas Ranjan Panda said all the six operators had been assigned specific zones in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area to conduct the proof of concept.
Panda said that once the public scrutiny or the feedback stage was over, they would incorporate all the opinions of the users to prepare the request for proposal for the project in Bhubaneswar.
Earlier, many cities and towns in the country had rolled out the Wi-Fi service at public places, but it was limited to only select places. This is the first time any city will be completely covered under the scheme.
The objective of providing Wi Fi services includes providing public internet access, internet access for local businesses to spur economic development, internet access for public schools and internet access on public transportation.
Residents are ecstatic about the experiment and hopeful that they would shortly get the service at public places like other metro cities in the country.