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    Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI): Objectives, Process, Significance, and Benefits

    The Union Cabinet led by PM Modi has approved the setting up of public Wi-Fi networks across the length and breadth of the country called as PM WANI- Know about its significance, benefits, objectives and other details here
    Created On: Dec 10, 2020 18:50 IST
    Modified On: Dec 10, 2020 18:57 IST
    Public WiFi network interface
    Public WiFi network interface

    Why in News?

    The Union Cabinet led by PM Modi has approved the setting up of public Wi-Fi networks across the length and breadth of the country on December 9, 2020. Know more about it below

    What is PM-WANI?

    The public Wi-Fi network service is to be called as PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface or WANI scheme. It would be set up by the public data office aggregators or PDOAs and would provide Wi-Fi service through the public data offices or PDO's. No license fee will be charged for providing broadband internet services. 

    PM-WANI: Significance

    1. Through this initiative, a boost in ease of doing business would be given to the entrepreneurs and employment opportunities in the country. 
    2. This move would also expedite the process of proliferation of broadband internet services through a public Wi-Fi network.
    3. It is another step towards Digital India.

    PM-WANI: Process

    The public Wi-Fi access network interface would be an eco-system operated by various players. PM-WANI scheme will work through: 

    1. Public Data Office (PDO): These units would help in establishing, operating the WANI compliant Wi-Fi access points. These would also deliver broadband services to subscribers.
    2. Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA): These would aggregate the PDOs and perform all the actions including authorization and accounting.
    3. App Provider: An application is on cards that would register the users and also look for all the WANI-compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in the local area. It would be displayed within the application for accessing internet service.
    4. Central Registry: There would also be a central registry maintaining the details of the app providers, PDOAs, as well as PDOs. This central registry will be maintained by C-DoT or Centre of Development for Telematics. 

     Objectives and Benefits of PM-WANI scheme

    1. PM-WANI scheme would introduce more business-friendly environment by boosting ease of doing business.
    2. It aims to provide high-speed internet that has come up as a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    3. High-speed internet is not accessible in areas that do not have a 4G mobile coverage. PM WANI aims to aid the deployment of a public Wi-Fi network service. 
    4. The proliferation of a public Wi-Fi network will create employment
    5. Enhancement of the disposable incomes is also expected in the hands of small and medium businessmen and this would in turn increase GDP. 
    6. Using public Wi-Fi hotspots would encourage its penetration across the country. 

    As per TRAI, in various economies, mobile users use WiFi technology to communicate for 50-70% of their net time. But, in India, this figure is less than 10%. In 2018 various service providers stated that they aimed to provide 5 lakh hotspots by March 31, 2019, and 10 lakh hotspots by September 30, 2019. These targets are yet to be achieved. The step of the government of introducing free WIFI is commendable and is expected to increase the number of hotspots.  Also Read| Defence Minister Rajnath Singh attends ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus