Google and Cisco will set up 200 high-speed WiFi zones in India by September-- they will rise to 500

Google and Cisco will set up 200 high-speed WiFi zones in India by September-- they will rise to 500
  • Cisco-Google partnership promises to provide free, high-speed public Wi-Fi zones in India.
  • Project currently on a roll-out mode, with 200 locations in Bengaluru identified.
  • Wi-Fi is seen as a means to offload traffic from mobile networks.
Tech giant Cisco plans to begin the rollout of free, open, high-speed public Wi-Fi zones across India, soon. It will use Google’s gStation platform to create these zones, it said during Cisco India Summit 2019.

The project to provide public Wi-Fi zones is already underway and is currently in its first phase of implementation. By September 2019, over 200 locations in Bengaluru, including hospitals, bus stops and government offices will be Wi-Fi enabled, followed by another 300 Wi-Fi zones in the second phase.

Massive untapped potential

According to a TRAI report, globally there is one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 150 users. In India, currently, there are only 52,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. To match the global ratio in India, eight million new hotspots must be installed. This has created a new market for infrastructure providers and ISPs in India.

Speaking at the event, Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India & SAARC, said,

“We are excited to partner with Google to bring free, open, high-quality internet access to everyone in India. This also represents a significant growth opportunity, the demand for public Wi-Fi hotspots is expected to go up by 100X over the next 3 years, creating new markets for Cisco and our partners.”

Wi-Fi as an extension of cellular networks

Globally, telecom providers have started using Wi-Fi access points and zones as a means to offload users from the mobile network onto the more affordable Wi-Fi network. This allows users to maintain connectivity while de-congesting the mobile network.

According to a report by CISCO VNI, almost 59% of the internet traffic will be offloaded from mobile networks to Wi-Fi by 2022. This market is ripe for the picking.