Trai has recently invited companies for a Pilot Wi-Fi open Network. Trai relates the same with PCOs which were used to do the voice calls and were very popular hotspots before the mobile phones or home landlines became the ultimate mode of communication.
Pilot project called as Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) is planned to run on a partnership model, wherein to setup Wi-Fi hotspots (or PDOs, Public Data offices) by acquiring bandwidth from multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and re-selling services as data to end customers at a lower rate.
The whole idea is to reduce the cost of deployment by working on a sharing model, wherein a PDO aggregator can aggregate e.g. backhaul bandwidth from multiple providers and provide services to the PDO owners at much lower cost price. We may relate it closely with MVNO operation for licensed spectrum, where in MVNO operator uses spectrum and network elements setup by other operator but sell the services with MVNO’s name and plans, this way CAPEX and OPEX cost is saved by MVNO and networks are deployed much faster.
We may call this initiative as MVNO for Wi-Fi. What it does is allow small entrepreneurs, shop keepers, school etc. to be able to deploy Carrier grade Wi-Fi networks. Another important point mentioned by TRAI was the cost of the vouchers which can be purchased via apps or online. Price of voucher starts from INR 2 to INR 20. As per the paper, this will also boost the last mile connectivity especially in rural areas which telecom operator ignores due to less revenue and high CAPEX/OPEX.
We have tried to come up with a design for Carrier Grade, Neutral/Vendor agnostic PDO architecture. To get more details read our draft white paper embedded below: