The Union Cabinet has announced the launch of PM- Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) in a bid to promote growth of public Wi-Fi networks in the country.

The Cabinet has given its approval to Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) proposal for setting up of public Wi-Fi networks by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) to provide public Wi-Fi service through Public Data Offices (PDOs).

The move is aimed at enhancing public Wi-Fi service coverage in India. As per government, there will be no licence, fee or registration for opening such PDOs. The businesses can take services from Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio or any such internet service provider (ISP) and use their physical location to provide Wi-Fi to anyone who happens to be nearby.

PM-WANI eco-system will be operated by different players as described herein under Public Data Office (PDO): It will establish, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers.

Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA): It will be an aggregator of PDOs and perform the functions relating to Authorization and Accounting.

App Provider: It will develop an App to register users and discover WANI compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in the nearby area and display the same within the App for accessing the internet service.

Central Registry: It will maintain the details of App Providers, PDOAs, and PDOs. To begin with, the Central Registry will be maintained by C-DoT.

As per the government, the proliferation of public Wi-Fi will not only create employment but also enhance disposable incomes in the hands of small and medium entrepreneurs and boost the GDP of the country.