Analysys Mason: Public WiFi to add $20b to India's GDP

16 Jul 2018

The Analysys Mason report – ‘Accelerating connectivity through public Wi-Fi: Early lessons from the railway Wi-Fi project’ – touts public WiFi as central to realizing ubiquitous connectivity and digital inclusion in India.

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 fiber broadband.”

According to Abecassis, the Google and RailWire project to deploy high speed Wi-Fi 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 provided valuable insights in further developing public Wi-Fi as a service that can truly achieve the Digital India vision,” he added.

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 monetizing demand for faster mobile broadband and higher data volumes on their networks, as people get used to fast speeds and ubiquitous connectivity.

It is estimated that a public Wi-Fi can translate into tangible benefits to GDP, by around $20 billion between 2017-19 and at least $10 billion per annum thereafter.

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