TRAI invites companies to be part of paid public wi-fi interface

In News

  • India’s telecom regulator has invited companies, app providers and hardware or software providers to set up a pilot project of Wi-Fi hotspots — which it calls Public Data Offices (PDOs) — that will allow pay-asyou-go ‘sachet sized’ data packs offering Internet access priced between Rs.2 and Rs.20.
  • The public wi-fi hotspots are proposed to be set up on the lines of yesteryear’s PCOs that were used for making phone calls by public on paid basis.
  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in March had recommended lowering of import duty on wi—fi equipment and mooted the concept of ‘public data offices’ and ‘aggregators’ for providing public wi—fi services at cheaper rates.

Objective

  • Trai aims to establish an open system based wi-fi access network interface using which any entity (company, proprietorship, societies, non-profits, etc.) should easily be able to set up a paid public wi-fi Access point.
  • It allows offloading telecom networks to ease congestion,” Trai said. It added that public wi-fi hotspots will be crucial when the next billion internet of things (IoT) devices come online.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is the regulator of the telecommunications sector in India.

Background

  • Telecom Regulatory authority of India was established on 20 February 1997 by an Act of Parliament to regulate telecom services and tariffs in India.
  • Earlier regulation of telecom services and tariffs was overseen by the Central Government.
  • TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in India to enable the country to have a leading role in the emerging global information society
  • One of its main objectives is to provide a fair and transparent environment that promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition in the market.
  • TRAI regularly issues orders and directions on various subjects such as tariffs, interconnections, quality of service, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability.
  • In January 2016, TRAI introduced an important change in telecommunication that would benefit all consumers. Effective from 1 January 2016, consumers will be compensated for call drops.
  • However, there is a catch, per the rule, mobile users will get a compensation of Re 1 for every dropped call but it will be limited to a maximum three dropped calls in a day.
  • This regulation has been quashed by Supreme Court on the ground of being “unreasonable, arbitrary and unconstitutional”

TRAI Mobile apps

On 06 June 2017, TRAI launched three new apps and a web portal to ensure that the Indian users are fully aware of the telecom services that are being offered to them.

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