Facebook looks to expand Wi-Fi initiative in India

IndiaMobile World Live — Facebook is holding talks with a number of ISPs in India to expand its Express Wi-Fi programme, after trials in rural areas in partnership with BSNL. Express Wi-Fi, aimed at making broadband in rural areas more affordable, rolled out 125 rural public Wi-Fi hotspots with the state-run operator as part of a pilot project, the Economic Times reported.

Facebook looks to expand Wi-Fi initiative in India

Google’s free Wi-Fi service arrives at Bhubaneswar railway station

IndiaTimes of India — BHUBANESWAR: After Mumbai Central, RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways today launched high-speed public free WiFi service at Bhubaneswar railway station in partnership with Google. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu accompanied by Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, launched the WiFi service which will benefit 1.4 lakh visitors at Bhubaneswar station daily.


3HK launches VoWi-Fi for more smart devices

Hong KongTelecom Asia — Mobile operator 3 Hong Kong has launched a premium voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) service that will enable a wider range of smart devices than just smartphones to make and receive calls. The premium VoWi-Fi service enables the use of up to five devices, including smartwatches, tablets and PCs, along with a smartphone connecting to the same cloud service account.


Qantas to use NBN satellites for free onboard wi-fi

AustraliaIT News — Qantas will tap into the NBN’s Sky Muster satellites to offer free wi-fi inflight from next year, the airline announced today. Qantas has partnered with broadband services provider ViaSat to conduct trials on a single Boeing 737 late this year in expectation of a full rollout across its domestic fleet of A330s and B737s early next year.


Philippines expands free public Wi-Fi project

PhilippinesEnterprise Innovation — The Philippines’ Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places introduced last year will be expanded to cover more areas in the country, especially in underserved areas. DOST-ICTO Executive Director Louis Casambre said the budget allocation for connectivity will be increased by around 50 percent.


India a great opportunity for WiFi: Edgar Figueroa, CEO, WiFi Alliance

IndiaThe WiFi Alliance is an organisation that sets the standards for WiFi across the world and also promotes its growth. Earlier in January, the WiFi Alliance unveiled the latest version of what WiFi technology will look like — the HaLow, which promises to at least double the range of standard 2.4 gigahertz WiFi connections. WiFi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa spoke to ET about the next big innovations in WiFi.


Mumbai Central to get Google’s Wi-Fi connectivity starting tomorrow

IndiaTimes of India — Starting tomorrow, passengers using Mumbai Central will be able to access high-speed internet as it becomes the first railway station in the country to get Google’s Wi-Fi service. This is part of Google’s tie-up with state-owned RailTel Corp of India to provide Wi-Fi connectivity at 407 stations. It will be Google’s biggest such project here.


Some Abu Dhabi taxis to get Wi-Fi in time for F1

UAEThe National — ABU DHABI: High-speed Wi-Fi will be available in TransAD’s fleet of Mercedes Vito compact vans, to coincide with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hired Cars said the service would be available from November 27.


Facebook, BSNL to set up 100 Wi-Fi hotspots, from IN

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: US social networking major Facebook has partnered state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to create 100 Wi-Fi hotspots in rural India to drive digital penetration in the country. Facebook is investing Rs 5 crore per annum for buying bandwidth from BSNL in this joint initiative that also includes IT infrastructure services providers such as Quad Zen and Trimax for equipment and fibre deployment, BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava told ET.


Google to set up Wi-Fi in 400 Indian railway stations

IndiaMIS Asia — Google is to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 Indian railway stations that carry millions of passengers every day, giving the company an important headway in the country. The Internet giant is working with the Indian Railways and RailTel, a government-owned provider of telecommunications infrastructure to the railways, to initially cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016.


RJio launches unlimited free Wi-Fi in Mumbai during Ganesh Utsav

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: RIL’s telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced the launch of unlimited free Wi-Fi service, Jionet, at select pandals during ongoing Ganesh Utsav. Devotees visiting Lalbaug Cha Raja, Andheri Cha Raja and Sahyadri Cha Raja pandals during 11-day long festival will be able to access high speed Wi-Fi internet services through their mobile devices, the company said in a statement.


Uber partners Airtel to offer free Wi-Fi in cabs

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: US-based taxi-hailing app Uber has signed an agreement with telecom major Bharti Airtel to offer free high-speed internet in its cabs across the country.  Besides, Airtel will also become Uber’s official telecom partner across India by offering mobile, data and device plans to Uber driver-partners.  The service, which has been launched in Mumbai, will soon be extended to other cities.


BSNL to set up 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, invest Rs 6,000 crore

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: State-run telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will invest Rs 6,000 crore over the next three years to set up some 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, its chairman-cum-managing director Anupam Shrivastava has said.  “We are now thinking of rolling out Wi-Fi hotspot through capital expenditure model also. We are in the process of having our tender ready. We will be floating our tender and put our own equipment. We will be doing everything,” Shrivastava told IANS in an interview.


Microsoft bats for White-Fi to help Digital India

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: US software major Microsoft Corporation says its newly-developed White-Fi technology can provide free Wi-Fi connectivity to a large section of the Indian population, thus, giving a boost to the Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative. White-Fi or television White-Space technology works like Wi-Fi on a bigger scale. “TV White-Space technology puts the unused spectrum in the TV channels to a good effect,” Prashant Shukla, national technology officer at Microsoft India, told ET.


Optus set to be first with voice over wi-fi

AustraliaIT News — Optus is set to take the lead as the first Australian carrier to deliver a commercial voice over wi-fi service to its consumers. The carrier has committed to launch a voice over wi-fi service within weeks. “Optus is always looking at ways to enhance our customer experience and we’re currently working on exciting developments for wi-fi calling which we expect to announce mid-2015,” an Optus spokesman said.


Sri Lanka Telecom deploys Ruckus Smart WiFi nationwide with Alepo

Sri LankaMSI-ASIA — Sri Lanka’s national ICT solutions provider, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), has deployed Ruckus Smart WiFi products and technology across the Indian island nation with the help of Ruckus’ channel partner Alepo. According to Ruckus, SLT is combining its Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor access points (APs), centrally managed with the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG), with Alepo BSS/OSS software infrastructure to help create a seamless, high-performance Ruckus Smart WiFi network.


Airtel to power Gurgaon’s ‘free Wi-Fi’ project

IndiaNEW DELHI: Telecom major Bharti Airtel has said that it has received a contract from Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon to launch Wi-Fi services. Users will be able to access free internet for the first 30 minutes and after that they can buy recharges. “… it has won the mandate for the launch of Wi-Fi services in Gurgaon … With this, Airtel has become the preferred partner to provide residents of the Millennium City an opportunity to connect to world-class internet experiences on the move,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement.


Telstra to switch off free wi-fi hotspots from Sunday

AustraliaTelstra will start turning off its free wi-fi hotspots from Sunday in preparation for the official launch of its national wi-fi network, which it will charge non-Telstra home broadband customers a fee to access. The telco announced its plans to build a $100 million international wi-fi network within five years mid last year. The network will include 8000 Telstra-built wi-fi hotspots located in old pay phones and a planned 1.9 million hotspots offered by its home broadband customers.


China’s Railway System soon to have smart stations

ChinaChina’s passenger railway transportation system is continuously upgrading its wireless network. Its most recent project is aimed at converting passenger stations into smart stations with high-performance wireless Internet access using state-of-the-art communications technology. Ruckus Wireless Inc. is currently working with Smartac Group China Holdings Limited (Smartac) to  build  smart WiFi networks that will cover  more than 300 passenger stations for three major railroad systems in China—Beijing, Guangzhou, and Lanzhou. The new system will provide comprehensive, real-time passenger data for railway station operators.


Taipei-based networking equipment manufacturer D-Link on expansion drive in Telangana, from IN

IndiaHYDERABAD: D-Link, a Taipei-based networking equipment manufacturer, plans to invest Rs 350 crore on business expansion in Telangana.  The company has signed an MoU with Telangana government to bolster the local IT industry by improving network infrastructure, investing in the region, and developing new talent, according to a statement issued by the government today.


China’s Internet Giant Baidu Invests $11.5 Million in Free Wi-Fi Company

China.gifChinese internet search engine giant and popular mapping service provider Baidu Inc., has invested $11.5 million in Qianhai Mobile – a local start-up that provides commuters in over 10 cities across the country with free wireless internet access. China Money Network reported that the investment deal, which will be implemented through the subscriptions of shares, also included funding from two Chinese private equity investors; Dongguan Zhongke Zhongguang Venture Investment and Guangdong Zhongke Baiyun New Industry Venture Investment.


BSNL to offer free national roaming from June 15

IndiaNEW DELHI: Union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that state-owned operator BSNL will provide nationwide free roaming service starting June 15.He also s aid that the government will ensure that Wi-Fi spots powered by BSNL are operational in major tourist spots in the next two years. The government plans to set up 2,500 Wi-Fi spots this year alone. The NDA government is taking many steps to make BSNL, as well as MTNL, profitable again.


Shanghai Lantern Network Acquires New Domain For International Expansion

ChinaShanghai Lantern Network Technology Company Ltd., developer of WiFi Master Key, has acquired the international top-level domain name Wifi.com and launched its overseas expansion plan. The domain was previously owned by Chen Donghong, founder of Techan.com. At present, the Wifi.com website is under construction and it already shows the logo of WiFi Master Key. Financial terms of the domain name acquisition were not released.


Philippines to use Japanese technology for free Wi-Fi network

PhilippinesThe Philippines will use technology developed by Japan to provide Wi-Fi access in parts of the country with lower connectivity. Japan’s National Institute of ICT will provide a database (pictured) which will allow the Philippines to use unassigned television channel frequencies, known as TV white spaces, for Wi-Fi. The Philippines is rolling out free Wi-Fi in 997 cities across the country, having tendered for the US$31.6 million project last month.


Philippines to connect over 900 cities with free Wi-Fi

PhilippinesThe Philippines plans to roll out free Wi-Fi to nearly 1000 cities by November, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has said. This week it tendered for the PHP 1.408 billion (US$31.6 million) project to set up Wi-Fi hotspots in 997 cities. Town plazas and parks, public schools and universities, libraries, government hospitals, train stations, airports, city halls and central government offices will all have free Wi-Fi, according to the Terms of Reference for the project.


Telstra to switch on 1500 more hotspots in wi-fi trial

AustraliaTelstra will switch on 1500 additional hotspots as part of an extension to a trial of its proposed national wi-fi network before June, the telco announced today. Last May the telco revealed plans to spend more than $100 million to build a national wi-fi network before the end of 2015. The network is slated to include around 8000 Telstra-built hotspots (utilising the national payphone network) and a further 1.9 million wi-fi access points provided by its customers.


SerComm 4G Small Cell shipments take off, from TW

TaiwanNetworking/communication device maker SerComm has been developing FDD LTE and TD-LTE Small Cell devices for several years and has begun to ship TD-LTE solutions to China Mobile. SerComm expects shipments of Small Cell devices to significantly increase in 2016, according to company president and CEO James Wang. Small Cell devices can offload mobile Internet traffic and increase indoor coverage for 4G networks, Wang said.


Georgetown gets faster public Wi-Fi service

MalaysiaResidents of Georgetown city in Malaysia can now access free public Wi-Fi at twice the speeds. Penang state announced that the public Wi-Fi bandwidth has been increased from 75Mbps to 375 Mbps. This allows each user to enjoy speeds upto 1Mbps, up from 512Kbps in the past, in Georgetown city and across the state. The government will spend RM1.84 million (US$498,915) annually to run this upgraded service, an increase of RM300,000 (US$81,344).


Yangon University waffles on WiFi

Myanmar“We haven’t reached an agreement with Yangon University to provide the service, because the university hasn’t replied to us,” he said. “But if Yangon gives us an agreement, we will give free WiFi service inside the university.” Yangon University rector U Aung Thu said the university currently provides sufficient connectivity for students, though will take up Redlink’s offer it finds it needs help.