Bangalore as India’s first wireless broadband city?!

Indiatimes on Friday reported that:

If things go as planned, Bangalore may emerge as India’s first city with wireless broadband Internet connectivity in about two years…..

Frankly, I don’t know what the whole hullaballu is all about. We constantly hear about the City Railway Station being wi-fi enabled, which to date, is still a damp squib. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong. Certainly, the station could do with sprucing up on the ground level than taking it onto the information highway. Besides, how many would really take the risk of lugging around / using a laptop in a public place where people can really throng?

Secondly, while media reports show greater number of laptops being purchased, the ratio is not going to drastically increase in 2 years time that will make it economically viable for operators to provide this service at rates cheaper than fixed broadband access. Even taking the cheapest of the offers – say BSNL’s 400MB limit for Rs 250/-, can we really hope for wireless broadband at less than this rate? With many cell phone users blabbering away while in public, imagine seeing them browse – thanks to the ubiquity of GPRS enabled ones – while on the move! To top it all, with the state of Bangalore roads, even the so called ‘World Bank’ funded ones – do the powers that be really think commuters will be able to browse online while on the move? Unlikely. Besides, the inherent disadvantages of wireless such as slower connection speeds, potential security & hacking concerns, radio interference due to weather, other devices, obstructions like buildings and trees have been conveniently given the go by.

Thirdly, gearing up the city’s infrastructure or working towards solutions that lessen them should occupy more attention of the powers that be rather than adding to the hype. The one that Usha wrote on earlier – BTrac – should, if implemented, earn some brownie points for the stakeholders with harried and long suffering citizens.

So in a nutshell, some news is just not worth doing a boogie about.

Those that come over the wire, particularly!


3 Comments so far

  1. silkboard (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 10:20 pm

    Indiatimes may make you believe Bangalore will be first, but Pune seems to have the lead here. Early this year, Intel had announced plans to unwire 400 sq kms of Pune and few adjoining suburbs.

  2. Ajay (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 1:16 am

    Wireless broadband is most probably going to be implemented using WiFi. Metro-WiFi is a totally different beast to normal WiFi connectivity and requires some special tweaks on the device and also on site planning. Bangalore can become WiFi enabled in Malls, Coffee Shops, Airport(s), Railway Stations etc etc. But pervasive coverage… whole different ball game! A while back there was an article in TOI about how Mysore was going to be the first city in India with WiFi coverage and I couldn’t stop laughing. :-)

    As the author says, some news are just not what they seem.

  3. silkboard (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 9:22 am

    BTW, the Pune city wireless broadband plan seems like a WiMax beta testing effort for Intel.

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