State-owned Mobile Operator in India, BSNL plans to invest Rs 6,000 crore(~US$888 miliion) to set up some 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across 2000 cities in India over the next two to three years.
"We are now thinking of rolling out Wi-Fi hotspots through capital expenditure model also. We are in the process of having our tender ready. We will be floating our tender and put our own equipment. We will be doing everything," said BSNL's chairman-cum-managing director Anupam Shrivastava in an interview.
BSNL will focus the WiFi hotspot rollout in its major markets including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu in the next 2-3 years. The operator is partnering QuadGen Wireless, a Bangalore-based wireless solutions company for the installation of the WiFi hotspots. QuadGen has entered in an exclusive partnership with BSNL to build, own, operate and revenue share for seven years.
“On one hand, we have mobile networks that are completely clogged and on the other hand, we have this enormous backhaul capacity lying idle with BSNL that can be used to offer high internet at low cost. The Wi-Fi service will allow not only BSNL customers to connect to the internet but anyone who has a smartphone,” said CS Rao, Founder and Chairman of QuadGen.