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Free WiFi hotspots in Mumbai? Not really

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2016 01:30 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times

Even as the government plans to activate 500 WiFi hotspots in Mumbai in November, the services won’t be free. While the data will be free for the first 30 minutes, you will have to pay Rs65 for 1GB data after that using the coupons that will be made available at various kiosks across the city.

“It will still be the cheapest. We plan to charge Rs65 for 1GB, for which private players charge Rs225,” said Vijay Kumar Gautam, principal secretary, department of Information and Technology (DIT), adding the coupons will be in the form of scratch cards with access code (or password).

But you will have to pay only after March 2017, until which you can access unlimited data.

The city is expected to get 1,200 hotspots with three-four access points each by May 2017 under the pilot project. Every access point is expected to cost the state approximately Rs2.50 lakh, pushing up the total cost to Rs125 crore.

The department plans to use the poles installed for the CCTV surveillance project for its WiFi network. “We have installed 2,293 poles under the CCTV surveillance network project. They can be easily used to create 500 hotspots in the first phase. Each hotspot will have three to four access points depending on the footfall,” said an official from Mantralaya.

In first phase, key locations across the city including Gateway of India, Girgaum chowpatty, CST and Vidhan Bhavan will be covered. The officials from DIT feel the number of hotspots may go up to 1,500 and cover all major educational institutions, business spots, iconic locations, hospitals and other major places.

The government is likely to allot the task to Larsen & Toubro, which has been implementing the CCTV surveillance project.