India and Wi-Fi

wi.jpgIndia has a long way to surge ahead when it comes to talk about Wi-Fi.
Only one city, Bengaluru, and a few coffee shops and lobbies of multi-storied five star hotels are Wi-Fi till now.

Wi-Fi at the Indian home has the same scenario. Indian home does not look so simple in comparison to Western countries. The burning issues which inhibit use of Wi-Fi at homes are Broadband (un)availability, low PC penetration, security, perceived cost, low education levels and vendor indifference. Another major hurdle seems to be civil construction of the Indian home. The average Indian house is made of concrete and, in most cases, is restricted to one story in comparison to western countries, where houses are made of wood and stretch up to at least two floors.

The Wi-Fi market worldwide is growing at an exponential rate but the same cannot be said for the Indian Wi-Fi market. But even after looking at the highlighted darker sides of Wi-Fi at Indian home, we should not close our eyes to the fact that India is the second most crowded country in the world. India is blistering, and its middle class is becoming more and more IT savvy. One can expect a notable increase in the rate due to India’s sheer size. Definitely, the story is improving.

An IT superpower, India, is famous for pouring out excellent engineers. For years, India is known for its remarkable performance in the IT sector. However, it is trying to cope with the western Wi-Fi market and still has to dig the well deeper. According to Tonse Telecom, India’s combined Wi-Fi market is expected to boom as laptop adoption and broadband penetration around the country is increasing.

The study predicted that as broadband wireless access grows, the country’s WAN (Wide Area Network) gear sector – which excludes embedded chips – will exceed US $275 million by 2011, up from the current US$23.1 million.

Their low price will inspire a good number of Indian homes to be Wi-Fi enabled. The efforts of D-link, Linksys, Asus, Apple, Compex and Zeos InfoTech are very encouraging for people have begun thinking about setting up their own Wi-Fi home network.

Among the coffee shops, Barista, a multinational coffee provider offers its consumers a Wi-Fi experience while sipping coffee. The consumer of this service has to pay a nominal charge for using the facility. An initiative has also been taken by Nirula’s, a fast food chain, which also provided Wi-Fi services to its customers.

Various educational institutes such as IIM (Indian Institute of Management), IIPM (Indian Institute Of Planning And Management) are also providing their students the experience of the technology but they charge a sky rocketing fees.

“India is increasingly becoming a hub for Wi-Fi product development and we have enjoyed success as a pre-certification lab for the Wi-Fi Alliance. We look forward to providing greater support and certification services to current and future Wi-Fi Alliance members.” said Mr. Gangadharaiah C P, senior vice president & worldwide head of Testing Services after it was announced that Wipro Technologies, the global IT services arm of Wipro Limited [NYSE:WIT] would be serving as a Wi-Fi Alliance Authorized Test Laboratory.

Sanjay Kataria