GOOGLE BAGS FIRST CITY STATION WI-FI DEAL FROM PUNE SMART CITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Internet major Google has won its first city Wi-Fi deal in collaboration with companies like IBM, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and RailTel from Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCSCL), a special purpose (SPV) vehicle formed for the smart city mission in the city.
The SPV was registered in March, and has seven stakeholders and 15 directors.
The latest contract is valued at Rs 150 crore, and includes capital expenditure, operating expenditure and revenue sharing elements, Pune Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar told ET. “The work order was given on January 6 this year…15-20% revenue generated through this city-wide Wi-Fi network will be shared with the authority,” he said. Under the contract, Google will help monetize the city Wi-Fi network, and will deploy Google Station platform, which has WiFi network management capability, and focuses on monetisation to make WiFi self-sustainable. RailTel, on the other hand, will provide lat-mile fiber connectivity on need basis to enable Wi-Fi hotspots at around 200 strategic locations across the city.
“The plan is to integrate all public places on a single platform to aggregate Wi-Fi hotspots that will allow access with one time authentication,” Kumar added. With Google Station platform, the company is extending its Wi-Fi service beyond railway stations to places that frequented by a large number of people, such as malls and transit stations, and in social hangout locations such as cafes and universities. It previously said to be partnering with large venues and organizations, network operators, fiber providers, system integrators and infrastructure companies to provide Wi-Fi in city areas.
Google has been working with RailTel and Indian Railways to provide high-speed Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations throughout the country. So far, over 100 railway stations have been equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots. Besides Wi-Fi, Google is also working with RailTel and L&T for variable message displays (VMD) that will be used to deliver important information and messages across 161 locations in the city. “One of the important things that we are doing is WiFi, and then we are also establishing the emergency call box and public drop box and environmental sensors…We are working with RailTel for connectivity and Google for putting advertisements. Google will help us in monetization through advertisements,” Srinivasan Ramamurthy, Lead -Smart World And Communication Business – Larsen & Toubro, told ET.
L&T is the master system integrator for the Pune Smart City project and it will help integrate everything together, Sharma said, adding that the company will also set up emergency call boxes and public address systems, environmental sensors, variable messaging displays, network connectivity and video analytics integration.
Under the deal, IBM is providing its smart city solutions that will work as the backbone of the Pune smart city.
IBM is also helping L&T set up a Smart City Operation Centre (SCOC) to integrate all the services and applications on a single platform, which will be able to accommodate all future needs through integration of various citizen-centric applications. It will integrate 49 applications. Google and IBM didn’t comment on ET queries on the contract.