Microsoft halts White-Fi internet project in India: report

05 Jul 2017


Microsoft is reported to have ended a pilot project for White-Fi internet connectivity in India, which it had earlier projected as a low-cost way of providing internet services to rural parts of the country.

The White-Fi technology, which is similar to Wi-Fi, uses unused spectrum in terrestrial TV frequency bands to offer broadband services.

The technology major had launched low-cost rural connectivity pilot project at Harisal, a small village in Maharashtra, to showcase the technology, which claimed to have a wider reach, higher throughput, and the ability to work in a low-power environment.

Telecom operators had opposed the deployment White-Fi saying that such rollouts should be done through licensed companies and after auctioning of spectrum. The telecom ministry is also understood to have declined to give the spectrum band for commercial deployment of White-fi.

Microsoft could have stopped the use of this technology after it failed to get a temporary licence to use the spectrum renewed.

The Harisal project now works on traditional cellular network technology through an arrangement with one of the telecom operators, reports said.

It is not known whether Microsoft will continue to scale up the deployment as several other projects were making use of the high-speed internet connectivity Harisal.

Reports said HP has installed an eHealth centre that connects to doctors across the country for specialised care in cases where local doctors are unequipped to handle them.

HP had also set up an e-learning centre, where students are provided free computer training inside an airconditioned pod.

LV Prasad Eye Institute had set up a digital slit lamp for ophthalmology, which lets doctors sitting in Hyderabad examine the eyes of patients in Harisal and offer treatment.

network. All these projects will now have to look to traditional internet service providers to run these services.

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