In a bid to benefit millions of Internet users and connect the next billion users, global networking giant Cisco has teamed up with Google to roll out free, high-speed public Wi-Fi access globally, starting with India. The first pilot under the partnership has been rolled out at 35 locations in Bengaluru, Cisco said here on Monday, adding that it will work with Google’s “Station Platform” to provide communities around the country access to high-speed public Wi-Fi.
By September this year, 200 locations in Bengaluru will be Wi-Fi enabled, followed by another 300 in the second phase, the two technology giants said at the “Cisco India Summit” here. The locations include public spaces like bus stops, hospitals and government offices, etc. Google said that it was committed to making the service secure. “It will run on https environment — the same environment in which you do online banking transactions,” Sajith Sivanandan, Managing Director and Business Head, Google Pay and “Next Billion User Initiatives”, India, told reporters here.
“It is an important partnership from the context of furthering the vision of Digital India, by making hi-speed public Wi-FI as pervasive as possible in congested city settings,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research, told IANS. According to the Cisco VNI (Visual Networking Index) report, nearly 59 per cent of Internet traffic will be offloaded from cellular networks to Wi-Fi by 2022.
“The Cisco-Google partnership brings together the expertise of Cisco in network infrastructure, and Google in providing seamless broadband experience, and expertise in developing vernacular web content and platform innovations. The partnership aims at bringing hi-speed public Wi-Fi to the next billion mobile users, a cohort that includes unconnected and under-connected Indians across highly-congested city locations,” Ram explained.