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Public WiFi can contribute $20 billion to India’s GDP by 2019, says Analysys Mason Report

July 04, 2018

According to a report by Analysys Mason, Public Wi-Fi can play a key role in driving ubiquitous connectivity and digital inclusion in India. The report, titled as ‘Accelerating connectivity through public WiFi: Early lessons from the railway WiFi project,’ gives a detailed analysis on the public WiFi ecosytem with a special focus on the Google and Railtel Public WiFi project.

As per report, despite an increase in number of people connected, mobile broadband penetration in India stood at only 31 per cent at the end of 2017. India significantly lags behind many of the other nations.

The report further outlines an opportunity to develop a wider connectivity ecosystem with Public Wi-Fi as a key component, which can not only benefit users and wireless ISPs, but also telecom service providers, handset manufacturers and venue owners. TSPs in particular can benefit by monetising demand for faster mobile broadband and higher data volumes on their networks, as people get used to fast speeds and ubiquitous connectivity.

The report indicates that Public WiFi will connect 40 million new users to the Internet by 2019 and that around 100 million people would be willing to spend an additional $2 billion - $3 billion per year on handsets and on mobile broadband services, as a result of experiencing fast broadband on public Wi-Fi. In addition to driving productivity improvements from high speed Wi-Fi for the overall economy, public WiFi can also translate into tangible benefits to GDP, by around $20 billion between 2017-19 and at least $10 billion per annum thereafter.

David Abecassis, Partner at Analysys Mason, said: “In the last few years, India has made significant progress in driving mobile data usage, thanks to improved networks, and low cost data. But to really achieve the connected India vision, India will need to further invest in developing public Wi-Fi as a complement to mobile and fibre broadband. Google and RailWire project to deploy high speed WiFi across 400 stations has shown that there was a technical and operational solution to providing high-quality public Wi-Fi to millions of Indians nationwide, on affordable terms. The success of this rollout and Reliance Jio’s 80,000 public Wi-Fi access points as of mid-2017 provide valuable insights in further developing public Wi-Fi as a service that can truly achieve the  Digital India vision.”

The report further highlights that the Investment in public WiFi can further unlock an opportunity for Mobile operators to offload excess data traffic from cellular networks, and deploy advanced technologies such as Hotspot 2.0 for ensuring interoperable roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi.



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