Pune Leads India Towards Wi-Fi Age

On Monday 2nd April 2007, Pune moved a step closer towards becoming the first location in India where citizens can access the Internet anywhere without cables, thanks to the rollout of WiMax technology.

Pune Municipal Corporation, in association with global chip-maker Intel Corporation and Chennai-based wi-fi service provider Micorsense, launched the first phase of “Unwire Pune”, a project aimed at providing easy and seamless net connectivity through laptops or PDA phones.

Microsense will implement the network and offer broadband wireless services while Intel will be the chief technology and programme management consultant for the project. Phase-I of the project aims to provide connectivity in a 20 sq km covering Deccan Gymkhana, Sambhaji Park, Aundh, Baner and Model Colony.

The first phase is likely to be completed in four to six months and the entire project covering 250 sq km will be rolled out over the next 12 to 18 months.

Beginning today, areas in Sambhaji Park and PMC Building will receive high-speed wireless connectivity. In over a year’s time, Pune citizens will have round-the-clock Internet connectivity across the city.
WiMax, short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, provides a secure wireless network that can be deployed across metropolitan-sized areas by using cost effective standards based technologies.

WiMax and wireless fidelity technologies compliment each other and are often used together in a community-wide wireless solution. Though the Centre is yet to announce its much-awaited spectrum policy, Pune will see the first commercial rollout of WiMax.

However, the project is expected to face delays as the government is yet to decide on the appropriate bandwidth to offer high-speed connectivity to people.

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