Cisco, the US networking giant has announced that it is teaming up with Google for its gStation that will roll out free access to high-speed WiFi at public locations across the country. And one such city that is on the priority list for gStation is Bengaluru.
As a part of this partnership that was announced by the two companies in February this year, Cisco will provide network infrastructure and accordingly the company has already rolled out a pilot in the IT hub of India.
25 Locations Go Live In The City
As per the announcement, around 25 locations in the city are already live and the team aims to make another 200 locations live in the next couple of months. The free public WiFi will be accessible on locations that include public spaces like hospitals, bus stops, and government offices and more. The team plans to extend the availability of gStation to 300 more locations in Bengaluru and other cities in India as well.
The Cisco President (India and SAARC) Sameer Garde during his speech at the Cisco India Summit 2019 said, “This is a global partnership and India is the first country, where we are rolling this out.” In Bengaluru, this project is being made available in partnership with a local internet service provider, D-Vois. Outskirts of Delhi and cities in the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are next on the list.
Garde said, “The success of digitization and digital citizen services is closely tied to the proliferation of high-speed internet. The partnership represents a significant growth opportunity as the demand for public Wi-Fi hotspots is expected to go up by 100X over the next three years.”
Public Wi-Fi Hotspots To Create New Market Opportunities
The Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) report says that installation of around 8 million additional hotspots is required for creating new market opportunities for internet service providers and infrastructure providers. At present, India has only 52,000 WiFi hotspots.
The MD and Business Head, Google Pay and Next Billion User Initiatives, India, Sajith Sivanandan said, “Solving for access is one of the core pillars of our ‘Next Billion Users’ strategy, and with gStation we have developed a best in class public WiFi solution that provides a seamless, high-quality broadband experience to users.”
One the public WiFi in India has proliferated adequately it will give a major boost to the digital ambitions of the government that includes ubiquitous connectivity and digital inclusion as well as to those serving as a complementary network for telecom companies.
The Cisco VNI report says that around 59% of internet traffic is expected to shift from cellular networks to WiFi by 2022. That is where this accessibility to public WiFi in India will play a major role. Already Google is providing WiFi services through its gStation to public locations in partnership with various firms and companies. The free WiFi across 1,000 railway stations in India is courtesy of Google’s partnership with RailTel.
Google is planning to implement the same model in other countries like Mexico, Nigeria, Thailand, and Indonesia.