Can PM WANI really redefine the telecom services in India?

PM WANI has promised a lot to the telecommunication sector of India. Providing wireless hotspots across several regions of the country, this scheme is claiming to change the way how India engages with internet connectivity. However, do these tall claims have anything substantial behind them to back them up? Let’s find out. 

The PM Wani Scheme came to us like a whiplash. The creation of wireless hotspots at every small shop, restaurant, and grocery store is something that we have been demanding for a long time. With its introduction, our hope that India’s telecom sector will finally listen to us has increased.  

Ideally, those words would come out of the mouth when first hearing about this scheme. The Wi-Fi scheme has been in the works for a long time. But now that it is finally in front of the people, it does not have many takers.

Let us be completely honest with each other. Mobile internet plans have already taken the center stage for us. They aren’t charging a lot and are providing us with high-quality internet access – one that has turned our mobile phones into workstations. So, you must admit that it is kind of hard to get excited about the scheme.

That being said, even appearing normal, this scheme does have the potential to change India’s telecommunication sector. Let us now look at this matter as objectively as possible.

What is the PM WANI scheme doing right?

By implementing the following strategies, this scheme does present the potential to evolve India’s telecom domain to another level:

  • Internet access anywhere: Since “work from anywhere” became our new reality, everyone from college students to modern workers are taking their laptops everywhere. And we aren’t talking about the coffee shops, but small places, even under the tree sometimes. With the ability to access the internet everywhere, these folks will have a way to stay productive wherever they are.
  • Providing additional income sources for the small shops: Brick and mortar shops are struggling, and it is all because of e-commerce. However, the introduction of the scheme turns their businesses into wireless hotspots – public data offices (PDOs). People who were once too lazy to even approach a shop to do their shopping would now have a reason to go there. And these shops, in addition to the additional income by providing internet access, will now have a chance to market their products properly.
  • It is free of cost: One of the biggest factors about this initiative is that it is free of charge. And when there is no charge, every trade only yields profits. Furthermore, it would attract even those who considered providing internet access as a waste of time.

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What are the different challenges this initiative might face?

Despite how “paradigm-shifting” this initiative might be, there are some challenges that you and we can’t ignore.

  • The cost model doesn’t exist yet: Why would people care about paying for a service for an internet session when they can use post-paid for mobile internet services? And considering that a consolidated cost model is yet to exist, people are having a hard time understanding the offerings of this scheme.
  • Network security is questionable: What guarantee can the government give about the security of personal information? India, despite what the world ranking says, is lagging behind in terms of internet security. So, for those whose pain points consist of security issues, the PM WANI WiFi scheme is a hard sell.

Those factors put justifiable questions around the intention and the worth of this scheme.

So what is the answer? Can this scheme really aid India’s telecom industry?

While there are challenges that the DOT has to overcome first, we can’t just outright deny the potential of PM Wani. In addition to giving small businesses an additional stream of revenue, it also is free of cost and can make the working environment of India more conducive to growth.

So yeah, the answer to this question isn’t that straightforward. Thus, it is safe to say that it will take some time for us to see what sort of value this incentive brings to the telecom fold of India. And for now, I have to wait and see.

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