The city of Kochi in Kerala has welcomed ten public Wi-Fi hotspots courtesy of BSNL, Kochi Corporation and Quadgen Wireless Solutions. The free Internet zones can be accessed in and around Corporation office, Marine Drive, the High Court, the District Court, Subhash Park, Kaloor bus stand, Edappally junction, Mattancherry, Fort Kochi and Durbar Hall. The contract for carrying out the maintenance of the service has been given to Quadgen Wireless Solutions which has also supplied the hardware needed for the roll-out.
The launch of these ten Wi-Fi hotspots was intentionally scheduled to take place during the central government’s observation of Digital India Week. There are plans to set up additional wireless Internet access zones in other part of Kochi too in the future. The current ones offer connectivity to users within a radius of 300 meters. BSNL which is in charge of delivering network backup for the project, promises browsing speeds of up to 8Mbps as well as a dynamic allocation process to enable smooth web surfing even if too many people log into the same hotspot.
The availability of public Wi-Fi hotspots puts Kochi on the list of elite cities with similar facilities, say The Hindu. In order to avail of the service, users will have to register themselves by submitting their name, mobile number and email ID. They will then be mailed a One Time Password (OTP) which will allow them to log into the Internet zone in question. They can then look forward to free web browsing for 1.5 hours in a month, in 3 sessions not exceeding 30 minutes at a go.
Those who wish to continue surfing after the complimentary pack is exhausted, will have to cough up the cash for it. Users can pay for the Wi-Fi hotspot service via debit card or net banking. An hour of Internet usage costs Rs 50, while half an hour of web access may be purchased for Rs 30. Unlimited browsing for an entire day is also an option for those willing to shell out Rs 150.