The availability of affordable data plans brought by the 4G revolution in India and more accessible mobile internet services are some reasons due to which the JV is unable to make impact, the report said, adding that this may drive Vi to exit the JV.
"I think we might potentially exit from the joint venture. At the moment, both companies are not investing much attention into the joint venture," Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar , told the publication.
Explaining the formation of JV, Takkar said that the country had "very little 3G spectrum" and the telcos anticipated a surge in data consumption, which led to concerns about coping with the situation. "The whole idea behind it was to build a common JV to offload the data traffic onto local WiFi networks."
But, there have been initiatives to drive the success of public Wi-Fi hotspots , such as the Central government's PM-WANI (Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) launched in December 2020, which aims to set up public Wi-Fi networks by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) to provide public Wi-Fi services through Public Data Offices (PDOs) spread across the country to accelerate proliferation of broadband internet services.
As per the Central PM-WANI registry, 63,841 Wi-Fi hotspots have been deployed pan-India.
As per the National Digital Communication Plan, the Central government has set a target of setting up of 10 million Wi-Fi hotspots by 2022 and sees the PM-WANI scheme as a facilitator to achieve this goal.
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