Bharti Airtel plans to have 1,000 WiFi hotspots in India by the end of 2010. This facility will initially be available only for existing Airtel broadband customers. Airtel WiFi hotspots will be located at leading premium hotels, hospitals, chains of restaurants, coffee shops and corporate buildings that are the hub of corporate, community and social activities.
A Wi-Fi hotspot is any location that offers wireless internet access. Any person carrying a laptop or a WiFi-enabled smartphone can access the internet from the hotspot.
Tata Communications currently offers connectivity at more than 500 hotspots in India across major hotels, airports, educational institutes and cafes.
It is observed that, individual customers seek out places that offer wireless internet services for free. This trend has resulted in several cafes, restaurants and other commercial outlets such as airports and hospitals include free WiFi as an added incentive for their customers.
The latest Mobile Wireles Broadband offering by Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications provides broadband speeds and enables users to access the net on the go, as against having to seek out a hotspot. This is perhaps the primary reason for the slow offtake of WiFi hotspots as they do not present a business proposition.
It is said that BSNL is also in the process of setting up WiFi hotspots across India. [via]