Hyderabad: Hyderabad is going all high tech. The country’s IT powerhouse is creating a Wi-Fi revolution, by becoming the first city to go aggressive on this front. Telangana government on Tuesday launched the ‘Hyderabad City Wi-Fi Project’ also known as Hy-Fi, with over 1,000 hot-spots across the city, coinciding with World Wi-Fi Day.
Inaugurated by the Mayor of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Bonthu Rammohan, the project will eventually cover 3,000 hotspots within the city. The launch ceremony was attended by many senior State government officials and including Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, ITE&C Department, government of Telangana and B Janardhan Reddy, commissioner, GHMC.
Addressing on the occasion, Rammohan said, “Being the newest State of the country, Telangana aspires to be the best State in all aspects. Hyderabad has been an inspiration for other cities in IT, business and living standards, and this city will continue to adopt new technologies to uplift the lifestyle of each citizen. Hy-Fi will set another example making Hyderabad a truly connected city even on the digital front.”
In June 2015, under the ‘Digital Telangana’ umbrella, the Government of Telangana has launched the pilot version of Hyderabad City Wi-Fi Project (Hy-Fi). The pilot project saw the government partner with internet service providers (ISPs) to provide free Wi-Fi for 30 minutes at approximately 100 public category locations across Hyderabad. These locations include malls, tourist spots, public offices, police stations, government schools and colleges, etc.
Over the last two years, the number has more than doubled to cover about 250 locations. After tasting success, the government has decided to scale up the project to cover more than 3,000 locations across Hyderabad in next three months.
A separate Government Order has been brought out to enable smooth execution of the programme for ISPs. The Government has agreed to take a two phased approach to complete the Wi-Fi project with government and industry participation.
At present, over 1,000 hotspots are being installed with an assured bandwidth of 5-10 Mbps offering 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi.
Announcing the launch of second phase of the programme, Jayesh Ranjan, principal Secretary, ITE&C Department, Govt. of Telangana said, “Digital India is the future and Telangana is marching ahead to achieve this dream. Hy-Fi is another pro-people initiative where citizens will avail free Wi-Fi to do their work. Businessperson, shopkeepers, entrepreneurs, students, women and tourists will benefit from this essential service.”
B Janardhan Reddy, commissioner, GHMC said: “Hy-Fi is another major achievement for the city with the citizens being the major benefactors of the service. With the high penetration of smartphones, free Wi-Fi will be a boost for the people. It will surely enhance the lifestyle of the citizens”.
Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI said “With successful completion of the Hy-Fi project, Hyderabad and Telangana will emerge as an example for rest of the country. As partners in this ambitious project, the telecom industry will partner in the timely completion of the project. This will provide high speed internet access connecting citizen with education, commerce and opportunities”.
Highlighting the role of the telecom industry, Venkatesh Vijayraghavan, Circle CEO – Bharti Airtel said, “Airtel has been a partner in the Government’s Digital India vision and we are delighted to support Hy-fi, the country’s largest and fastest public Wi-Fi network. With this digital initiative, Hyderabad has further cemented its reputation as one of India’s technology capitals.”
Bengaluru-based Atria Convergence Technologies has been selected for bridging the last mile gap in the project. Addressing the gathering Bala Malladi, CEO – ACT Fibernet said, “With the growing number of citizens moving towards digital economy, our partnership with the Telangana government will bolster the internet connectivity in Hyderabad. With more than 1,000 hotspots to be installed in the coming months across the city will enable users to access high-speed internet both inside their homes and on the go throughout Hyderabad”.
Speaking about the project, Sujit Sen, Circle CEO – Indus Towers said, “We are committed to ensure a robust infrastructure for deploying this project and hope that this will act as the foundation stone for other programmes driving Digital India in the State.”