Wi-Fi services company O-zone and Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson yesterday signed a service agreement for setting up 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in the country, PTI reported.
According to a service level agreement, Ericsson would provide Wi-Fi technology-based solutions for a five-year period.
"The partnership will also ensure that O-zone is able to establish the neutral Wi-Fi model in India, which will help the Indian government make the right to internet access a reality for every Indian," O-zone chief executive officer Sanjeev Sarin said in a statement.
Ericsson would provide O-zone with 30,000 Wi-Fi access points as also network management tools using small cells, and a variety of options for monetising the Wi-Fi network in the first stage of the project.
According to the statement, these included opportunities for offering telecom operators the chance to cut the data burden on their network by utilising the neutral Wi-Fi network of O-zone to offload some of the traffic, according to the statement.
"Ozone has signed a Small Cell as a Service agreement with Ericsson to provide a neutral carrier-grade Wi-Fi network across India," Ericsson said in a press release.
Ericsson offers Small Cell as a Service with a variety of different business models to suit environments such as connected venues, connected streets and connected enterprises. This deal is an example of the connected venue application, as Ozone's Wi-Fi network will serve restaurants, cafés, shops and malls.
Sarin said, ''In today's world, consumers like to be connected at all times, which means that network capacity becomes an extremely important factor. Deployment of Ericsson's Small Cell as a Service offering will enable us to better manage consumer expectations in ultra-dense environments. The partnership will also ensure that Ozone is able to establish the neutral Wi-Fi model in India, which will help the Indian Government make the right to internet access a reality for every Indian.''
Chris Houghton, head of region India at Ericsson, said, ''Small Cell as a Service is an innovative offering that enables operators to increase network capacity in environments where it isn't practical to build parallel networks. Our ability to plan, design and operate networks in all types of environments enables us to propose a package of services that is customised to meet any customer's needs. In this particular project, we are discussing a variety of options that Ozone can use to monetize its network, including the possibility of data-offload agreements with other operators.''