How does User Authentication for free WiFi Zones in India work?

The user authentication system can also be considered as a ‘login validation system’ for those who want to access the wireless network for free Internet. A database of successfully logged in users is maintained through this system as per legal requirements.

Instead of handing out passwords on a piece of paper the Government recommended a WiFi User Authentication that generate SMS passwords delivered directly on the users phone number.

WiFi Authentication STEP 1: Capture MAC address and phone number.


Step 1: Enter user's mobile number
Step 1: Enter user’s mobile number


WiFi Authentication STEP 2: Generate Password and Deliver via SMS Gateway.

Step 2: Random Password Generation delivered via SMS on user's phone
Step 2: Random Password Generation delivered via SMS on user’s phone

WiFi Authentication STEP 3: Verify Password and allow access.

WiFi Authentication system in India (2)
Step 3: Validate user with rules of access (time, speed, downloads)

This is how it should work:

User’s device browser opens and loads login form. User enters mobile number INPUT USER ID
User enters password that was received via SMS INPUT USER PASSWORD
User accepts terms of use USER AUTHORIZATION
User can now use Free Internet service SUCCESS PAGE

Remark: If you need more information on Muft Internet’s free-to-use WiFi User Authentication System contact us on +91 80802 40000 or [email protected]

PR: The Muft Internet Research Study is out!










Masters of Science in Human Computer Interaction



Institute of Informatics

Tallinn University, Estonia




Supervised and approved by:


Professor David Lamas

Dr. Sonia Sousa



I would like to thank the existing members of the HCID and ICTD community and their continued efforts to bridge the digital divide.  This thesis would not be possible without the involvement of all the participant volunteers and their ideas, time and efforts.

A Special Thank You to the All the Key Enablers of the Design Project

For giving me crucial economic and financial insights with regards to ISP businesses in India and helping me create a business model for Muft WiFi.

Bharti Parekh (Business Modeling Expert and Chartered Account, ICAI India)

Nagin Parekh (Business Modeling Expert and Chartered Account, ICAI India)

Aditi Parekh (Consultant, Deloitte)

Hitesh Shah (Investment Expert, PPIC)

Ritesh Shah (Financial Analyst, ex-KMPG)

Neha Rambhia (Student, Harvard Business School)

Rajesh Shah (Entrepreneur, Mumbai Masala Café)

Siddharth Bharwani (COO, Jetking Infotrain)

Rashi Dhandia (MBA, Singapore Management University)

For giving me crucial insights on governmental efforts on bridging the digital divide, understanding government laws and regulations and national cyber security concerns.

Meenakshi Lekhi (Member of Parliament for Government of India)

Vijay Tribhuvan (Assistant commissioner, Mumbai Police)

Dilip Shah (Lawyer, Dilip Shah and Associates)

Akhil Gurwada (Lawyer, Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe)

For helping me understand wireless technologies, network architectures and developing the overall technical solutions required for this project.

Vipul Patel (Engineer, 3 Spin Creative Solutions)

Yatin Tribhuvan (Interaction Designer, Colorbud Studio)

Amit Goyal (Chief Engineer, Rirev)

Audrey Boullot (International Development (student), SciencePo Paris)

Mahendra Nagle (Freelance Network Architect)

Khwaja Umair (Human Computer Interaction (student), Tallinn University)

For giving me crucial insights on existing digital advertising and ad-market insights.

Preeti Vyas (Owner, VGC Interactive Designs)

Anushree Seth (Media Selling Expert, ex-Disney India)

Harshil Karia (Co-Founder, Foxymoron Digital Agency)

For their key volunteering efforts at different stages of the project:

Małgorzata Łuczkowska

Amey Tribhuvan

Mel Batson

Student volunteers from H.R College (RCHR Club)

Management Staff at Jetking Infotrain

Technical Staff at Realtel ISP

Technical Staff at Hathway ISP


Lastly, I would I like thank my supervisors Professor David Lamas and Dr. Sonia Sousa and my colleagues at Tallinn University’s Institute of Informatics for their constant support and guided expertise throughout this project.


This thesis is dedicated to 60% of the human race whose creativity we miss out on every single day simply because they lack Internet access.


In the past couple of decades we have seen a sharp rise in Internet usage, data consumption and the overall number of Internet users. With the rise of broadband connectivity, mobile Internet, mobile applications and overall web utility through localized content and services; we have been able to observe many positive effects of Internet access. Many Human Computer Interaction and Development (HCID) and Information and Communication Technology and Development (ICTD) studies in this time have demonstrated how countries with higher Internet penetration and adoption enjoy better economic growth, improved educational systems, more democratic participation and overall enhancement in various Quality of Life (QOL) indicators.

As of 2014, the sad truth remains that over half of the human population is deprived of basic Internet access. Most of these people live in developing or poor countries. This reflects a deep gap between technology creators’ / designers’, policy makers’ and industry’s understanding/involvement of the end users. The problems lie beyond an individual’s conventional understanding like hardware availability, user literacy or network coverage.
Complex and intertwined sociotechnical roadblocks play a key role in curbing Internet penetration and adoption in many countries that face a huge digital divide. However, one common pattern can be spotted among such countries – ‘affordability’. Even with the sharp decline in prices of Internet enabled mobile devices and data plans over the past decade, quality Internet access still remains expensive or unaffordable to many.

The study was conducted in India with the goal of overcoming various legal, economic and technological barriers to ‘enable free Internet access’ for users. In this study, we try to address the problem of ‘affordability’ in Internet access for existing Internet users in India that own an Internet enabled mobile device but cannot afford to pay for mobile Internet packages. Using a Participatory Design approach and a Double Diamond design process, an economically sustainable and technologically scalable ‘free Wi-Fi Zone’ model was designed and prototyped in this study.

This research study aims to provide valuable insights to various research organizations, governmental bodies, Internet service providers, hardware/software companies and other agents working in the ICTD space and trying to bridge the digital divide.



New York city got Free WiFi! Here’s why Mumbai should!

Mumbai Free WiFi

Digital divide is defined as the gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not. Over time, research has shown a strong correlation between income disparity and digital divide. To put this simply, more people offline = more income disparity.

In the age where (not commodity but) information is power, Mumbai is losing it’s grip on being one of the richest cities in Asia. Few know that 1 out of 2 people in Mumbai lives in slums. The income disparity in this city is at its peak and so is the digital divide.

The problems in Mumbai range from sanitation to health care and from food security to transport. As a city, Mumbai has numerous problems. No one person, organization or political party is capable of fixing every problem. However, in time we have realised that the biggest problem is lack of awareness and information. Not just on an individual level – but even on a governmental and industry level as well. We are an information deprived society.

Every Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research has pointed towards the fact that increased internet penetration and higher internet usage has resulted in greater economic development, higher democratic participation, enhanced education and healthcare systems and overall improved Quality of Life indicators.

The youth of this city needs to be more online but they simply can’t. Telecom companies like Vodafone charge 10 Paise per 10 Kb. To translate that into understandable terms – it sums up to over Rupees 4000 (or approx 54 Euros) for 1 Gb of data.

vodafone data plan

An average teenager in Europe consumes that much data in less than a week. What’s even more surprising is that most countries in Europe charge 5 to 20 euros for UNLIMITED 3G data access.

A city with majority of its population as the youth; there is a desperate need to address affordability in data access. Lack of clear policies by the government and the unsaid oligopoly of mobile data service providers like (Vodafone, Tata DoCoMo, Airtel, RCom etc) have created such unfair pricing models that as a city we will never be able to shift towards a digital society.

Millions (who could be online but) are most of the times offline because of affordabilityImagine all the creative voices we are missing out on. Imagine all the work that wasn’t done. Imagine all the time that we wasted trying to get decent connectivity.

Our city, Mumbai, is in desperate need for Free Internet spots. Our educational institutions and public areas like train stations need to be granted free internet access.

What’s amazing is that this doesn’t have to cost the government any money! A few technologists, advertisers and ISPs can get together if the government provides the necessary support/permissions to make free internet a reality!

To transform any society into an information society (as PM Narendra Modi envisions a digital India) it is important to understand the access to Internet should be free and without barriers.

[Tweet “Dear @dev_fadnavis: Help us bring #FreeWiFi – Mumbai will love you! @CMOMaharashtra #freewifimumbai”]
[Tweet “Dear @sjkunte (Municipal Commissioner), Help us bring #freewifi: Mumbai will love u! #freewifimumbai”]
[Tweet “Dear @AUThackeray, Help us bring #freewifi, Mumbai will love u! @uddhavthackeray #freewifimumbai”]


Old analogue TV frequencies should turned into free ‘super WiFi’ – scientists say

Old television frequencies should be used to create new bandwidths for a super-frequency WiFi to prevent overloading of the mobile networks and boost the economy, instead of being auctioned off to the highest bidder, say German scientists.

Old television frequencies are sold off by governments due to the change over from analogue to digital broadcasting, often to whoever is prepared to pay the most for them. They should instead be used to create a new range of free Wi-Fi, say scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany.

Transmitting WiFi over old TV frequencies would cover a far wider area than traditional WiFi because they use much lower frequencies. Current WiFi is transmitted over local area networks (WLAN) at about 2GHz and therefore has a limited range.

And instead of auctioning them off, mostly to mobile phone networks, governments could use them for free WiFi networks, rendering pricey mobile phone services such as 4G obsolete.

via Old analogue TV frequencies should turned into free ‘super WiFi’, scientists say — RT News.

57 Cities Now Have Free Wi-Fi, But They’re Not Thinking Big Enough – Mic

In August, Los Angeles, began research on a program that would make it the largest city in the country to blanket the city in free Wi-Fi. Currently, over 57 U.S. cities are providing “muni Wi-Fi” on some level. These cities hope “muni-Wi-Fi” will provide job opportunities to their underserved populations, facilitate waves of innovation, and brand the city as tech-friendly.

But a single-minded focus on municipal Wi-Fi is misplaced. To maximize investments in digital infrastructure, local governments should look beyond cosmetic solutions such as municipal Wi-Fi, install a fiber-optic network, and implement a public-private model to finance the construction.

The actual benefits of municipal Wi-Fi are limited. First, a large majority of Americans already have access to the internet, creating a dynamic in which municipal Wi-Fi will only marginally expand the use of the internet. Right now, 85% of Americans over the age of 18 have access to the internet and 70% of adults have high-speed internet in their homes. Of the portion of the population that does not have internet in their home, nearly half claim that they simply don’t want or need it. Thus, for the vast majority of the population, municipal Wi-Fi plans will only provide a supplement to household connections, possibly explaining why established municipal Wi-Fi programs have generally targeted 10-25% of the population, but have only achieved a 1-2% signup rate.

Furthermore, Wi-Fi services offered by municipalities tend to be inferior to what’s already on the market. The average broadband download speed in the United States is 8.6 Mbps (megabits per second) and the average smartphone download speed can range from 1-5 Mbps for 3G services and 5-17 Mbps for LTE services. In contrast, although exceptions exist (see San Jose, Calif.), municipal internet speeds are typically only 1 Mbps. For example, city-provided Wi-Fi in Raleigh, N.C., Santa Clara, Calif., Albany, N.Y., and El Paso, Texas all provide speeds around 1 Mbps. By comparison, your local Starbucks used to offer speeds of 1.5 Mbps, before it partnered with Google last month to provide speeds of up to 15 Mbps.

Rather than relying on free Wi-Fi as the sole cyber-solution, local governments should focus on increasing the speed of their broadband networks. A 2011 study demonstrated that doubling the broadband speed for an economy increases GDP by 0.3%. Furthermore, businesses are enticed to locate to a city based on internet speed, not the mere presence of Wi-Fi. In a 2012 survey 90% of professionals in economic development organizations agreed that a broadband speed of at least 25-50 Mbps is needed to attract new business to a city, with over a quarter concurring that 1,000 Mbps would be needed.

Fiber optic cables can provide these speeds and the corresponding benefits. First, high-speed fiber optic networks are a demonstrated boon to economic growth. Since first offering its fiber optic service in 2012, Chattanooga, Tenn. has generated $400 million in new business investments and 6,000 new jobs. Additionally, fiber optic networks generate significant revenue, allowing cities to cover operating expenses and pay down initial costs. In 2014, Chattanooga is expected to bring in $93.6 million in revenue from its more than 50,000 fiber optic subscribers.

Moreover, fiber optic networks can serve as competition to the de-facto monopolies in the broadband industry, who typically make a 97% profit margin on internet services. Since Google Fiber’s entrance into Kansas City, Time Warner Cable has boosted its “turbo” service by 33% and doubled its fastest available service to 100 Mbps. After Google announced plans to come to Austin, Texas, Time Warner announced it would match Google’s 1 GB service and provide free Wi-Fi in public areas to existing customers.

Despite the benefits, gigabit services are extremely limited in the United States. The deficiency in fiber optic options is primarily an infrastructure issue — there is a scarcity of cities wired for fiber optic networks.

To be sure, providing a fiber optic network is not cheap. In 2012, the Chattanooga-owned utility company, Electric Power Board, installed a fiber optic smart grid, connecting each home’s electricity meter with fiber optic cables and allowing Chattanooga residents to purchase a gigabit service for $299 per month. The total cost of the project, however, totaled $320 million ($112 million of which came from the Federal Recovery Act).

However, Susan Crawford has identified a public-private model in New Zealand that could work in the U.S. to reduce overall taxpayer costs. Under this plan, the government would build the network and provide price schemes incentivizing internet service providers to invest in fiber optic networks. Internet service providers would then develop the final connections to homes and buy back the basic network connected to those homes. Such a model reduces the upfront cost to an investor, allows the government to recover on its costs, and makes fiber optic projects more feasible.

Fiber optics are the way of the future. Rather than offering a service that anyone can get at a neighborhood coffee shop, local governments should focus their efforts on truly giving their cities an edge.

via 57 Cities Now Have Free Wi-Fi, But They're Not Thinking Big Enough – Mic.

Compare Internet Plans in Mumbai (and India)

Compare Internet Plans in Mumbai (and India)

There are many ways to compare internet plans in mumbai. On the basis of speed and data limits. However, for most Indian users affordability is still the key access.

Most often than not, ISPs end up confusing the user with various different pricing schemes and offers. Here’s a quick and easy way to get more for your money. Compare the best rates.

1. Mainly for Broadband:
2. Mainly for 3G:
3. For 3G and 4:
4. For data Cards:

New York City Will Turn Every Payphone Into A Free WiFi Hotspot | ThinkProgress

New York City announced plans Monday to reconfigure all of the city’s decrepit payphones into WiFi hot spots starting in 2015, a move that reinforces President Obama’s net neutrality proposal: That internet access is a basic right, not a privilege.
The LinkNYC plan replaces the city’s payphones with up to 10,000 standalone towers that offer passersby free WiFi and nationwide calling, and a charging station. The conversion plan has not been approved by the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee, a city regulator that ensures city plans comply with laws and regulations.
If approved, City Bridge and a team of New York-based companies, including the city’s biggest payphone operator Titan, will start the digital migration next year.

Read More: New York City Will Turn Every Payphone Into A Free WiFi Hotspot | ThinkProgress.

Are you a restaurant, bar or cafe owner in Mumbai? First 100 sign-ups will get Muft Internet!

Would you like to increase your customer base by proving free wifi at your bar, cafe or restaurant?
We are looking for public places where we can to test out our technology.

Dear Bar/Restaurant/Cafe Owners in Mumbai,
We are trying to scout out locations as to where we could test out our technology. We are looking at densely populated public spots. The internet service + the hardware will be paid by us. All you have to do is sit back, relax and let your customer enjoy free internet! Sign up now and our researchers will contact you!

[contact-form-7 id=”208″ title=”cafe/business/restaurant owner”]

What happens when everyone becomes a cellphone zombie?

As HCI researchers, a lot of us believe that computing should exist and not computers.

“Technologies have a life cycle, says Donald A. Norman, and they must change as they pass from youth to maturity. Alas, the computer industry thinks it is still in its rebellious teenage years, exalting in technical complexity. Customers want change. They are ready for products that offer convenience, ease of use, and pleasure. The technology should be invisible, hidden from sight.

In this book Norman shows why the computer is so difficult to use and why this complexity is fundamental to its nature. The only answer is to develop information appliances that fit people’s needs and lives. To do this, companies have to change the way they develop products. They need to start with an understanding of people: user needs first, technology last—the opposite of how things are done now”
The Invisible Computer | The MIT Press.