Public Wifi Hotspots Near 2 Lakh Mark Under PM Wani: How To Use Internet Economically While Travelling?

PM Wani's scheme has led to around 2 lakh public wifi hotspots across the country. Know how the scheme works and how to use the internet.
Public Wifi Hotspots Near 2 Lakh Mark Under PM Wani
Public Wifi Hotspots Near 2 Lakh Mark Under PM Wani

Public wifi hotspots under the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme are nearing the 2 lakh mark in the country. As many as 1,99,896 wifi hotspots are available currently in India, as per data from the government.

The government-run Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme, provides free Wi-Fi facilities at public places across the country like railway stations. But it also has a vertical where the Public Data Office (PDO) can be set up by a rural entrepreneur in far-flung areas. A traveller can use these wifi hotspots at a minimal charge. This will help them access the internet where there is no data connection on their mobile phones and they do not have to rely on expensive hotels to use their internet connection.

The objective of PM Wani includes providing internet access to every citizen of the country while travelling. RailTel has been running the PM Wani scheme to provide fast and free public WiFi services in over 6,100 railway stations as per a Livemint report. To use this WiFi network, on an Android phone, a mobile application ‘Wi-DOT’, available on Google Play Store can be used.

How Does PM Wani Work?

Any village-level entrepreneur, grocery shop owner, kirana shop owner at their shops, tea stall vegetable or fruit shop or restaurant owner can become a Public Data Office (PDO).

Public Data Office will establish, maintain, and operate PM-WANI-compliant Wi-Fi Hotspots in their premises by procuring internet bandwidth from telecom service providers or internet service providers. Then they can start selling internet broadband over wifi and earn revenue. If you are running a small business and plan to sell up you can install a PM Wani wifi router, which will help you increase the footfall in your business premises.

Further, by selling the internet you can earn some extra income too. For this, you have to visit the PM Wani Central registry get a a list of verified PDOAs and contact the best one that suits your requirements.

"To facilitate ease of doing business and encourage local shops and small

establishments to become Wi-Fi providers...the last-mile Public Wi-Fi providers require no license, no registration and will not need to pay any fees to DoT," the government guidelines say.

How to Use Internet on PM-WANI Wi-Fi?

Any user who wants to access Broadband through PM Wani's Public Wi-Fi will need to download an application used by the PDO of whom you want to use the data. There are many PM Wani applications available on GooglePlay and you should connect with your Public Data Office (PDO) for the application. Download the application, get authenticated using OTP, then open the app and proceed to access Broadband at any Public Wi-Fi Hotspot.

When the user reaches a Public Wi-Fi Hotspot, the application on the mobile phone will show various available networks, the government release said. The user can then choose the Public Wi-Fi network of choice, pay an amount – either online or through a voucher – and use the network till the balance is exhausted. This service will be especially useful in rural areas where Public Wi-Fi Hotspots are also being created under BharatNet.

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