The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday submitted a report to the government on open-architecture based WiFi services through interoperability at low prices, which would substantially slash data prices. Submitting the report on "Public Wi-Fi Open Pilot Project" to Communications Minister Manoj Sinha, TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma said: "This is an architecture based on interoperability and is a very robust one... like UPI and Aadhar." On the sidelines of the event, he told reporters that this open-architecture would bring down data prices to one-tenth of the current level. The new model of network has been named "WiFi Access Network Interface (WANI)", a TRAI statement said here. "The products available for consumption should begin from 'sachet-sized', that is, low denominations may be Rs 2," the statement added.
Under the system, authencation of the service provider and service seekers, along with accounting and payment settlement, would be done through cloud services, Sharma said. There would be a central registry to authenticate the service provider and service seekers, he added. Sharma further said, "The person managing a router (in an area) would be called PDO (Public Data Office), the one managing 1,000 such routers would be called PDOA (Pubic Data Office Aggregator) and the one who develops an application would be called application provider and in such a way the systen would work." He futher said there are limitations in internet services in the country as there are only wireless networks and no wired connectivity, hence WiFi is the cheapest possible mode of internet. He also clarified that the WiFi Access Network Interface would be independent of the BharatNet project.
Speaking at the occasion, Minister Manoj Sinha said the government and the TRAI would discuss on the model presented and look forward on the modalities of implementing it in the days ahead.