Commuters on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will soon be able to enjoy WiFi connectivity. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to provide high-speed WiFi coverage zones on the 94-km expressway.
On Wednesday, MSRDC invited bids from telecom operators to enable the WiFi zones. The MSRDC also aims to strengthen cellular network on the expressway.
“We have invited telecom operators to give us a detailed plan on which areas can be made WiFi zones,” said Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, MSRDC. According to Kurundkar, the WiFi network will also help them and the state highway police to monitor CCTV footage along the expressway and at the toll booths in real time. The number of WiFi zones or hotspots and other modalities are yet to be finalised. The services are likely to be offered for free, but a decision is yet to be taken on this.
Apart from WiFi, the MSRDC also plans to strengthen the mobile network. “There are a lot of shadow areas on the expressway. We want telecom operators to install base transceiver stations (BTS) and other infrastructure so that there is continuous cellular network during the journey,” Kurundkar said.
The expressway, which was inaugurated in 2002, is used by more than 40,000 PCUs (Passenger Car Units) daily and the government is anticipating these numbers to increase in the near future. “To cater to the increasing traffic, the MSRDC is widening the expressway. There is also a need to provide WiFi zones and better cellular connectivity,” said an official.