In a first for an Indian city, Google will make available city-wide WiFi connection in Pune. The tech giant is undertaking the project as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Smart City project announced last year that covers 20 cities across India.
Google has bagged the ₹150-crore project and will be working with other companies such as IBM, Larsen &Toubro, RailTel and the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited. According to a report in the Economic Times, Google will deploy the WiFi network and monetise it to make it self-sustainable.
"The work order was given on January 6 this year...15-20 percent revenue generated through this city-wide WiFi network will be shared with the authority," Kunal Kumar, Pune Municipal Commissioner, told ET. "The plan is to integrate all public places on a single platform to aggregate WiFi hotspots that will allow access with one-time authentication."
Google will work with other companies to install the Google Station Platform which will constitute the base infrastructure for the citywide WiFi. Google will work with malls, parks, shops and optic fibre providers to lay out the network while RailTel will provide the final connectivity points.
Larsen &Toubro will install drop boxes and emergency boxes with WiFi hotspots, while Google will help them monetise the service ads.
Google is already working with the government and RailTel to make 400 railway stations in India WiFi enabled, and had covered a 100 stations by the end of 2016. According to Google, over 10 million users have already used the rail WiFI network and about 15,000 first-time users were using the service everyday.