Wi-Fi Alliance released a report titled “Wi-Fi in India: A Key Enabler of Economic, Social and Community Development,” which studies the impact of wireless technology in rural and urban India.
The report profiles the work of a non-profit organization, Byrraju Foundation, which leverages Wi-Fi technology to connect rural farmers to experts in agriculture, remote patients to doctors, and young villagers to training and employment opportunities. Also profiled in the report, startup venture O-Zone has set its sights on urban development, bringing Wi-Fi service to consumers and mobile workers at home, in public places, and on the corporate campus.
The Byrraju Foundation’s Ashwini Project provides “urban services in rural areas.” By focusing on both urban and rural areas, the Wi-Fi projects will address a number of service areas, from education to livelihoods to logistical streamlining. Bridging the digital divide in the Indian context provides a new challenge.
Wi-Fi adoption patterns will be unique in India. According to the report, Wi-Fi adoption is likely to occur via handsets as well as notebook computers in India. India’s more than 240 million cellular subscribers increasingly use handsets for entertainment and social networking applications. With Wi-Fi increasingly deployed as a feature on the handset and the Wi-Fi hotspot footprint on the rise, many Indian residents are likely to use Wi-Fi without ever owning a computer.
To obtain a free registered download of the report, click here.
Also related to the topic is the World Bank’s report called “Global Economic Prospects 2008: Technology Diffusion in the Developing World.”