Navi Mumbai to become state's first Wi-Fi city?
NMMC plans to establish a city-wide Wi-Fi network in the next two years; Belapur to be the testing ground
With the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) thinking of establishing a city-wide Wi-Fi network in the next two years for residents, Navi Mumbai is likely to become Maharashtra’s first city to go fully Wi-Fi. To do so, the civic body has come up with a plan in which a network of Wi-Fi services will be created in the satellite city by installing a vast number of Wi-Fi nodes.
G V Rao, executive engineer, NMMC said, “We are ready with a plan to provide Wi-Fi service in some parts of the city in the coming six months, while the whole of Navi Mumbai will be covered under this service in the next two years. Initially, we will start Wi-Fi service in Belapur node by October.
We are going to open a tender in a week’s time. Once this is done, a feasibility study will be carried out to check the potential of setting up Wi-Fi services across Navi Mumbai. Although we are planning to provide the service to all the sectors in the city, household consumers will be our priority. Depending on the project’s initial success, we will extend the service to business houses and industries.”
He added, “We will award a contract to a private company for installation of Wi-Fi nodes and setting up a Wi-Fi network. The same company will be allowed to provide connections. But we will regulate the charges, as we intend to provide low-cost Wi-Fi to the citizens.
Since the NMMC won’t be paying any licence fee to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for the Wi-Fi service, it will help us keep the charges reasonably low.” Once the tendering process for the first phase is over, the contract-winning firm will carry out a survey to decide upon the spots in Belapur area for installing Wi-Fi nodes.