PM-WANI: All You Need To Know About Nationwide Public Wi-Fi Network Plan

The public Wi-Fi access network interface will be known as PM-WANI
The public Wi-Fi access network interface will be known as PM-WANI

PM-WANI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet approved the setting up of public Wi-Fi networks across the length and breadth of the country on Wednesday, December 9. The public network will set up by the public data office aggregators (PDOAs) to provide Wi-Fi service through the public data offices (PDOs) spread throughout the country. The public Wi-Fi network service will be known as PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) scheme. The Cabinet said that the initiative will provide a boost to ease of doing business and employment opportunities. The move is also said to accelerate the proliferation of broadband internet services through a public Wi-Fi network and is another step towards Digital India.

PM-WANI scheme - All You Need To Know:

  • How will PM-WANI scheme work: The public Wi-Fi access network interface will be known as PM-WANI and it will be an eco-system operated by different players. Here's how the PM-WANI scheme will work, as operated by the players: 
  1. Public Data Office (PDO): These units will establish, operate, and maintain only the WANI compliant Wi-Fi access points and will deliver broadband services to subscribers.
  2. Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA): These units will be an aggregator of the PDOs and will perform the functions relating to authorization and accounting.
  3. App Provider: An application will be developed to register users and discover the WANI-compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in the nearby area and display them within the application for accessing internet service.
  4. Central Registry: A central registry will maintain the details of the app providers, PDOAs, as well as PDOs. This central registry will be maintained by C-DoT or Centre of Development for Telematics, a government-owned telecommunications technology development centre.
  • Objectives and Benefits of PM-WANI scheme: 
  1. According to the Cabinet, the PM-WANI scheme is expected to be more business-friendly and will be in line with efforts for ease of doing business.
  2. The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the delivery of high-speed broadband internet service to a large number of subscribers including areas that do not have a 4G mobile coverage. This can be done by the deployment of a public Wi-Fi network service. 
  3. The proliferation of a public Wi-Fi network will not only create employment but also enhance the disposable incomes in the hands of small and medium entrepreneurs, which is likely to boost the gross domestic product (GDP). 
  4. No license fee will be charged for providing broadband internet services. So using public Wi-Fi hotspots will greatly encourage its penetration across the country. 

“This is a great move by the government of India. The launch of PM-WANI model through PDOs, PDOAs and apps move can have a multifold impact. It can give a boost to employment opportunities. While it's too early to predict the numbers, the move will need a huge workforce to manage the telecom network to handle surge in load due to additional data usage as a result of free public Wi-Fi,'' said Mr. Sunil C, Head- Specialized Staffing, TeamLease Digital.

''You will also need many IT Infra support engineers, app developers, app maintenance engineers and not to forget cyber security professionals as this opens up huge cyber risk. This move will lead to huge employment opportunity in IT, IT Infrastructure, and Telecom sectors,'' he added.

He also said that some of the skills where demand will increase are datacenter operators, window server admins, storage admins, network and security engineers, security analysts, app developers, database engineers, middleware admins, share point developers/admins, cloud admins, apart from the telecom network engineers.