Public wi-fi hotspots
This topic provides information about public wi-fi hotspots in India.
The growth of Internet penetration in India and realisation of its full potential is closely tied to the proliferation of broadband services. “Broadband” is currently defined to mean a data connection that is able to support interactive services, including Internet access, with the capability of a minimum download speed of 512 kbps. It therefore refers to a means of delivering high - speed Internet access services.
Broadband services can be delivered through a number of different access technologies, both wired and wireless, including Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), optical fibre technology, cable TV networks and mobile broadband services like 2G/3G/4G. In addition to these, radio frequency signals (or spectrum) can also be used for the creation of “wireless local area networks” (WLANs), offering an effective mechanism for extending the "last - mile connectivity" of broadband connections to a wider segment of users.
The term Wi - Fi (an acronym for Wireless Fidelity) is commonly used to refer to the array of technical standards (802.11 standards and various amendments to it) developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) that can be used to create WLANs. Strictly speaking, Wi - Fi is a certification provided by the Wireless Broadband Alliance 1 (WBA), which owns and controls the “Wi - Fi Certified” logo that can be applied to products that satisfy certain interoperability criteria.
WLANs created using Wi - Fi technology can be used to connect personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and other appliances to a local network, which in turn provides connectivity to the Internet. These WLANs can be operated for private use, such as in the home, or to create short - range, public networks, known as “hotspots”, which can be found in public places like airport lounges, coffee shops or neighbourhoods.
Status of adoption of Wi-Fi networks
As per data published by DigiAnalysys, India has 3.06 lakhs Wi-Fi hotspots as on 2019.
Public Wi - Fi hotspots have been launched at locations like railway stations, metro stations, hotels, airports, cafes, markets, educational institutions, parks and other public places at various locations in the country.
Public Wi-Fi service in railway stations
Free high-speed public Wi-Fi service is now available at railway stations in India. The service is available in 1400 Railway stations across India.
The public Wi-Fi service will be accessible by Wi-Fi enabled mobiles. The process of logging onto the network are as follows.
- Users will have to visit the Wi-Fi Settings of their smartphone, and select the RailWire network.
- Users then have to open their mobile browser, and then navigate to railwire.co.in.
- On the RailWire website, users will be prompted to their phone number on the Wi-Fi login screen, and then press Receive SMS.
- Users will receive an SMS message with a 4-digit OTP (one-time password) code, and they will then have to enter the code at the Wi-Fi login screen, and click Done.
- Users will then be shown a checkmark, which confirms they are connected to the free Wi-Fi.
Free Wi-Fi spots in cities
Free wi-fi has been launched in several cities of the country. The service offers free wifi access upto the first 30 minutes of usage. The users can later recharge using prepaid vouchers. The list of cities where wi-fi hot spots have been launched are as follows.
- New Delhi