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Indian regulator aims for public Wi-Fi rollout using payments model

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is aiming to develop a framework similar to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to aid the rollout of public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country, notes Live Mint. The regulator will send a report to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) by March end, based on the results of its pilot projects, TRAI chair RS Sharma said. The report could serve as a “reckoner” for the DoT, which has separately set an ambitious target of deploying 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots by December across the country from the current 38,000.

“We are working on a framework which will ensure that the Wi-Fi hotspots can be provided in a seamless manner, in a grid situation. We are prescribing interoperable standards to authenticate the user, the payment mechanism and unbundling [operations]", Sharma said. “What UPI is for the payment ecosystem, this framework will be for the Wi-Fi hotspot ecosystem”, he added. Launched in 2016, UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile app (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments under one hood. In another move in India, the process of network port-out is set to become faster and simpler for mobile subscribers, as the TRAI is planning a review of the mobile number portability (MNP) mechanism. See more here and here.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

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