Wi-Fi Could Be the 4G of Rural India, Says Railtel Chief

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Wi-Fi or a local area wireless technology could be a fourth generation (4G) connection for digitising rural India, Railtel Corporation of India Chairman and Managing Director R.K.Bahuguna said Saturday.

“Wi-Fi could be a 4G of rural India,” he said while speaking at the CEO Roundtable on the Aegis Graham Bell Awards 2014 supported by Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI).

Formed in 2000, Railtel is a ‘mini-ratna’ government enterprise to provide nation-wide broadband, telecom and multimedia network.
4G LTE is the fastest network connection available in India.

The government has embarked on an ambitious National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project that aims at providing broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in India by March 2017.

“The government has done a pilot project in three villages, each in Tripura, Rajasthan and Odisha to connect blocks through Wi-Fi in 2012,” said Bahuguna, contending Wi-Fi is pocket friendly for rural India as well compared to broadband.

“They have limited usage and Wi-Fi is not expensive,” he added.