Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sep 17:
IT majors Microsoft and IBM have evinced interest in playing a part in providing WiFi connectivity in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha.
“Microsoft and IBM have shown their interest in implementing the project, which will provide WiFi connectivity to the entire city. We will have a meeting with IBM by the end of the month, where it will make a presentation on the implementation of the ambitious project,” said IT minister Pranab Prakash Das here today.
Bhubaneswar, which is planning to join the league of cities in the country having WiFi connectivity soon, has engaged Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) as the consultant for the purpose. It is in the process of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) for the implementation of the project. The state government will bear the cost of implementing the project.
The minister said STPI had been asked to prepare a DPR and a proof of concept (PoC) study will be conducted at four to five places within the city. The STPI will submit the DPR within two months.
“After the submission of DPR, we will float tenders inviting global players to execute the project, which would be first in the country covering the entire area of the capital city,” said the minister. The minister, however, clarified that here will be no fully free WiFi zone in the city.
“WiFi services may be considered free of cost for about 20-30 minutes in a day as introduced in other cities. The revenue model will be worked out in consultation with STPI,” said Das.
Other cities having WiFi connectivity are Patna having 20 km free WiFi zone, Bangalore (Mahatma Gandhi Road and Brigade Road) and Connaught Place area of the national capital New Delhi.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had tied up with telecom service provider Tata Docomo to offer WiFi services at the posh Connaught Place locality.