Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated 500 Wi-Fi hotspots across various locations in Mumbai on Monday.
The Wi-Fi hotspots will be known as Mumbai Wi-Fi and it is India’s largest public Wi-Fi service.
The State government is racing against time to start this service before the Model Code of Conduct for the municipal corporation polls is imposed.
In August 2016, the State had announced 1,200 Wi-Fi hotspots across Maharashtra, of which 500 were to be developed in Mumbai.
“It is an important step by our government in the continual commitment of ‘Aaple Sarkar’ for digital empowerment of Maharashtra. We are committed to give good service to Mumbaikars and will resolve issues on priority,” said Fadnavis.
According to the officials from Mantralaya IT Department, this is the CM’s pet project and was supposed to be launched in December 2016, but got delayed due to some issues with procurement of hardware.
In Phase-I, 500 locations were identified across the city, including popular tourist sites like the Gateway of India, Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu beach and slum clusters. Each Wi-Fi hotspot will have three to four access points and a 60-70 metres range, depending on the geography of the location.
Each access point can have 40 users. The average speed will be 20 Mbps and Wi-Fi will be free for the first 30 minutes for a maximum data of 100 MB, after which the user has to pay. The charges will be cheaper than of other data providers that charge Rs 26-28 per 100 MB. For mass use, the State will give 100 MB free, but at spots where Wi-Fi will be used for quality purposes, like colleges it will give 1 GB free data.
In Phase-II, which is expected to begin in February, 700 sites will be identified across the State, including schools, colleges and hospitals. It is expected to be completed by March. The remaining Wi-Fi hotspots will be active by May 1. Meanwhile, the government will also monitor the progress on connectivity and speed.