NEW DELHI: Tremendous opportunity exists for the rapid proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots in India, and the PM WANI initiative can result in a massive scale-up of the internet in rural areas, which will be transformative, Trai Chairman said on Friday.
India needs all kinds of technology to serve its digital ambitions, and the technology-neutral stance will serve as a prime catalyst for the required growth, P D Vaghela, Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), said.
“There is a tremendous opportunity in India for the proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots. PM WANI (PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) can result in rapid scale-up of the internet in rural areas, which will be transformative given the low level of penetration (there) compared to urban areas,” he said while speaking at a virtual event organised by industry body Broadband India Forum (BIF).
India’s appetite for data appears to be insatiable, with the country now having over 750 million broadband connections.
“However, the potential for growth is still very high. I think, probably over 500 million more to be connected, especially in rural areas,” he pointed out.
Terming the internet as one of the most powerful socio-economic engines of growth, Vaghela said this is true not only for India but for the rest of the world.
“Wi-Fi 6 and 5G expand opportunities for digitisation across all industries…and enables organisations to be just everywhere, while increasing productivity and offering the best user experience,” he said.
The PM WANI initiative has been a historic step forward, he said, referring to the ambitious programme that aims to fuel broadband internet proliferation in the country through a mesh of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops.
“PM WANI system is a best low-cost alternative, which offers a way forward to connect low revenue consumers…,” he noted.
The BIF digital dialogues event also witnessed the release of an industry white paper titled Role and importance of next-generation Wi-Fi technologies in the acceleration of digital transformation’.
Some gaps need to be ironed out for the PM WANI scheme to pick up, the white paper said, flagging the need to create wider awareness about the scheme, its technical design, the utility of Public Wi-Fi services and associated benefits.
“A regulation prescribing ceiling rate with guaranteed QoS (quality of service) may be considered by Trai to ensure that ISPs/TSPs (internet and telecom service providers) do not exercise discriminatory practices in allocating bandwidth and pricing for PDOAs/PDOs,” BIF said summing up key suggestions contained in the white paper.
The government should facilitate easy bank loans or funding from USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) for small entrepreneurs to invest in the PDO/PDOA business, it said while calling for suitable modifications in the WANI framework to facilitate roaming.
“Spectrum in both 6 GHz and V band has been delicensed in several countries, to increase capacity and accelerate economic growth. Need to explore releasing these bands in India at the earliest to unlock their economic value through use in Wi-Fi services,” it added.
The government had earlier approved the setting up of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops through public data offices that will not involve any licence, fee or registration.
The public Wi-Fi Access Network initiative is aimed at bringing a massive Wi-Fi revolution in the country. The public Wi-Fi networks, under WANI, have an architecture involving multiple players — Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) and app providers.
Source: Press Trust of India
Nokia modernizes Subisu’s optical network for high-speed broadband across Nepal
NEW DELHI: Nokia today announced that it had been selected by Subisu, a leading service provider in Nepal, to modernize the 1500 kilometers long backbone network spread across East and West Nepal.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Nepal, Nokia has deployed its 400G single fiber solution to provide ultra-high-speed broadband to Subisu’s retail and enterprise subscribers.
Nokia’s solution allows Subisu to address the growing bandwidth requirement and break into new market segments. Subisu’s customers will be able to use high-capacity applications and experience an overall improvement in the quality of services.
Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform offering Photonic Service Engine (PSE) enabled 400G single fiber, bidirectional Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) solution is now deployed across the country. This is the first operation of such a solution anywhere.
Nokia’s 400G single fiber solution significantly improves fiber capacity and helps Subisu enhance network resilience and reach while optimizing capex and reducing opex. The solution allows Subisu to easily scale the network to provide multi-terabits of capacity over a single fiber.
Binaya Saud, CEO, Subisu, said: “We have been working with Nokia for a long time now, and their industry-leading products and solutions are helping us provide best-in-class broadband services to our subscribers. Nokia was the sole vendor for this important project, and its solutions are enabling us to grow our subscriber base and provide a superior experience to our existing customers even as we future-proof our investments.”
Vinish Bawa, Head of Emerging Markets, India, Nokia, said: “Our field-proven 1830 PSS solution is enabling service providers, like Subisu, to meet the growing capacity demand even as they enhance customer experience. We are pleased with the successful and timely completion of this crucial project to modernize Subisu’s optical network, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
Jio’s IAX and IEX projects to address region’s data revolution
NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio), India’s leading 4G and mobile broadband digital service provider, is constructing the largest international submarine cable system centered on India. Jio, in conjunction with several key global partners and world-class submarine cable supplier SubCom, is currently deploying two next generation cables to support the extraordinary growth in data demand across the region.
The India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) system connects India eastbound to Singapore and beyond, while the India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) system connects India westbound to the Middle East and Europe. The systems will seamlessly interconnect as well as connect to the world’s top interexchange points and content hubs for extension of service globally. IAX and IEX will enhance the ability for consumer and enterprise users to access content and cloud services in and out of India.
For the first time in the history of fiber optic submarine telecommunications, these systems place India at the center of the international network map, recognizing India’s increased importance, staggering growth, and the quantum shift in data use since the launch of Jio services in 2016.
These high capacity and high-speed systems will provide more than 200Tbps of capacity spanning over 16,000 kilometers. Employing open system technology and the latest wavelength switched RoADM/branching units ensures rapid upgrade deployment and the ultimate flexibility to add/drop waves across multiple locations.
“Jio is at the forefront of India’s explosive growth in digital services and data consumption. To meet the demands of Streaming Video, Remote Workforce, 5G, IoT, and beyond, Jio is taking a leadership role in the construction of the first of its kind, India-centric IAX and IEX subsea systems,” said Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio.
“Implementing these critical initiatives in the shadow of a global pandemic is a challenge, but the ongoing pandemic has only accelerated the digital transformation and the necessity of high-performance global connectivity for the delivery of a richer experience to enterprises and consumers,” he added.
The IAX system connects India, the world’s fastest growing economy, to Asia Pacific markets with express connectivity from Mumbai and Chennai to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. The IEX system extends India’s connectivity to Italy, landing in Savona, and additional landings in the Middle East and North Africa.
Apart from the seamless connection of the IAX and IEX sub-sea systems, the two systems are also connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fiber Network beyond Asia Pacific and Europe, connecting to both the east and west coast of the USA. IAX is expected to be ready for service mid-2023, while IEX will be ready for service in early 2024.
2,927 court complexes across India connected via high-speed Wide Area Network
NEW DELHI: As many as 2927 Court complexes across India have been connected so far by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) under e-Courts Project. It has led to completion of 97.86 % sites out of 2992 sites conceived to be connected with high speed WAN under the project. Department of Justice (DoJ) along with BSNL is working relentlessly on connecting the remaining sites.
Under e-Courts Project, one of the largest digital networks of the world was conceived by Department of Justice along with the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India to connect the 2992 court complexes located all over India by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) via different modes of connectivity such as Optical Fiber Cable (OFC), Radio Frequency (RF), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) etc.
In May 2018 the mandate of providing Managed MPLS VPN services to all these sites was entrusted to the BSNL, which has pan India presence with latest state-of-the-art technology and high-end telecom infrastructure and transmission equipment. The BSNL also has presence at all corners of India, including NE region, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, etc.
Many courts under the e-Courts project are located in far flung areas where terrestrial cable cannot be used for providing connectivity. Such areas are termed as Technically Not Feasible (TNF) and in DoJ’sendeavor to bridge the digital divide; connectivity is being established at TNF sites using alternative means like RF, VSAT etc.
With persistent deliberations, meetings and coordination with different stakeholders including BSNL and the Courts, the Department has been able to reduce the total TNF sites from 58 in 2019 to 14 in 2020, thus leading to saving of public money as the cost of providing connectivity through alternative means like VSAT is much higher. Department of Justice has also decided to use the newly inaugurated submarine (under sea) cable for providing connectivity to 5 TNF sites in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In the COVID-19 pandemic scenario importance of connectivity becomes greater as suddenly courts are under huge pressure for on-line hearing of cases. The DoJ has therefore constituted a high powered committee with representatives from the BSNL, NIC, e-Committee etc to review the bandwidth requirement in the changed scenario.
The Department of Justice, along with the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India has taken a major leap towards digital transformation and its success in leveraging digital technologies for transforming the Judiciary and providing access to justice to ordinary citizens is being appreciated at all levels.
As part of National e-Governance Plan, e-Courts Project is an Integrated Mission Mode Project under implementation since 2007 for the ICT development of the Indian Judiciary based on the ‘National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in Indian Judiciary’.
The Government approved the computerization of 14,249 district & subordinate Courts under the e-Courts Phase I project ( 2007-2015). The objective of the e-Courts project is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary by universal computerization of district and subordinate courts in the country by leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for improved justice delivery. Envisaging further ICT enhancement through universal computerization of all the courts, the Phase II of the project was approved by the Cabinet in July 2015 with a cost of Rs 1670 crore under which 16,845 courts have been computerized.
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