In news– RailTel, a mini Ratna PSU, has launched Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme based access to its Public WiFi services across 100 railway stations in 22 states.
- This app has been developed in close coordination with C-DOT.
- This method of accessing Wi-Fi through the ‘mobile app’ would be in addition to the existing method of accessing WiFi at these stations through the conventional method of selecting RailWire Service Set Identifier (SSID)
- PM-WANI-based access will facilitate ease of use through one-time Know Your Customer (KYC) to avoid One Time Password (OTP) based authentication, every time one tries to use WANI based Public WiFi.
- To access this WiFi network, android users can download the mobile app ‘Wi-DOT’ available on Google Play Store.
- The government further plans to extend the PM-WANI based access of RailTel’s public Wi-Fi services to all 6, 102 railway stations (where Wi-Fi facility is already available) in phased manner by the end of June 2022.
- PM-WANI is an ambitious program of the Department of Telecom (DoT), Ministry of Communications to connect all silo Wi-Fi networks for ease of use and proliferate broadband usage for the masses.
- It aims to set up Public Wi-Fi Networks by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) to provide public Wi-Fi services through Public Data Offices (PDOs) spread across length and breadth of the country to accelerate proliferation of Broadband Internet services.
- PM-WANI eco-system is operated by different players as described herein under:
- Public Data Office (PDO): It establishes, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers.
- Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA): It will be an aggregator of PDOs and perform the functions relating to Authorization and Accounting.
- App Provider: It develops an App to register users and discover WANI compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in the nearby area and display the same within the App for accessing the internet service.
- Central Registry: It maintains the details of App Providers, PDOAs, and PDOs.
- As per the National Digital Communication Plan, the Central government has set a target of setting up of 10 million Wi-Fi hotspots by 2022 and the PM-WANI scheme will facilitate this.
- There shall be no license required from DoT for providing Broadband Internet through these public Wi-Fi networks.
- DOT will assist all the stakeholders in implementation and proliferation of PM WANI.