Pune to be India's first wireless city

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 03 April 2007, 05:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: Taking a leap over Bangalore and Hyderabad, Pune will become the first Indian city to have a high-speed wireless Internet network even before the Centre's much-awaited spectrum policy is announced. The ambitious project, when complete, will enable people to access the Internet from anywhere in the city, without a cable, through their laptops or personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Christened "Unwiring Pune", the project was jointly announced by global chip-maker Intel Corporation and Pune Municipal Corporation in March 2006 and was kick-started on Monday.

Intel, along with Chennai-based Microsense, will establish infrastructure for a wireless communication network covering the entire 280 sq km of this cultural center of Maharashtra in a couple of years.

While Intel will provide design and planning support, Microsense will carry out network deployment. Microsense was involved in establishing a wireless Internet network at the airport here.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Intel Managing Director (South Asia) R Sivakumar, Pune Mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale and others will flag off the project.

The technology used will be Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, commonly known as WiMAX, and wireless fidelity or wi-fi.

WiMAX is claimed to be the most cost-efficient way of building wireless data networks and a means to link people over large distances for "last mile" connectivity and bridging the digital divide.

However, deployment of WiMax faces delays as the Central government is yet to announce its spectrum policy, which will allot bandwidth for high-speed connectivity.

The Pune Municipal Corporation's step is aimed at providing ubiquitous connectivity to propel quicker adoption of e-governance and instant links to the world through the Internet.

With proposed backbone wireless communication network can be leveraged to meet the wireless networking needs of any citizen, university, or business with minimum additional investments, officials said.

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