BSNL to Focus on NOFN, Wi-Fi Hotspots and More in 'Digital India' Drive

BSNL to Focus on NOFN, Wi-Fi Hotspots and More in 'Digital India' Drive
With mobile becoming a centre to deliver governance and utility services to people, BSNL said it is focussing on key projects of NOFN, providing Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile wallet and mobile governance services as it prepares itself for Digital India.

The state-run firm said revenue opportunity in the field of mobile governance has increased multi fold in view of Digital India, which aims to leverage information and communications technology (ICT) to deliver governance to common citizens.

"There are 3-4 areas where we are contributing for Digital India programme, like national optic fibre network (NOFN), providing Wi-Fi hotspots at commercial places, mobile wallet service under the Jan Dhan [programme] and delivering m-governance services like Digital Mandi, Kisan Seva among others," BSNL Board Director(Consumer Mobility) Anupam Shrivastava told PTI.

NOFN aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats in India by March 2017.

Shrivastava said BSNL is planning to put up Wi-Fi hotspots at commercially viable places like historical sites, shopping malls and universities.

The payment model planned for Wi-Fi spots include offering free browsing for first 15-20 minutes. BSNL is working on to start a Wi-Fi hotspot at Varanasi Ganga Ghat in two months.

"We are working on the banking project, wherein we will provide m-wallet services as part of Jan Dhan Yojna. We are also undertaking m-governance services at national and state-level like Kisan Seva, mid-day meal, passport, Digital Mandi among others wherein people can get information through SMS," he added.

Shrivastava added that BSNL being the owner of one of the largest and widest network in the country with large skilled work force is best positioned to help government in realising the goal of on demand delivery of governance.

"BSNL is having deep rooted relations with all government departments which will we leveraged to get more projects. We expect that in near future a large component of our top line revenue will come from this segment," he added.

Digital India is an umbrella programme with an outlay of Rs. 1.13 lakh crore. The programme includes projects that aim to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically and people get benefit of the latest information and communication technology.


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Further reading: Telecom, Internet, Digital India, BSNL
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