In less than $32 Million, the Government of Philipines will roll out free WiFi in the country! The country has a population of 100 Million.
Frustrated by expensive and low quality internet by telcom providers – the Government of Philippines has taken a project to provide Free WiFi access for all citizens of Philippines by 2016!
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Globe Telecom will carry on this project to empower it’s citizens.
Philipines has a history of expensive and bad Internet access. Telcos failed to provide quality and affordable services to people and this is the reason the Government is investing in a countrywide Public WiFi infrastructure.
With free WiFi in the whole country, the telecom companies in the country will be forced to bring affordable mobile data access into the country.
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.
WiFi Authentication STEP 2: Generate Password and Deliver via SMS Gateway.
WiFi Authentication STEP 3: Verify Password and allow access.
This is how it should work:
|USER FLOW||SYSTEM FLOW|
|User switches on his device WiFi and selects SSID.||STARTS A NEW SESSION FOR THE USER, INITIATES USER LOGIN PROCESS|
|User’s device browser opens and loads login form. User enters mobile number||INPUT USER ID|
|User ID is registered||CHECK USER ID, REGISTER NEW USER IDS, GENERATE AND DISPATCH PASSWORD|
|User enters password that was received via SMS||INPUT USER PASSWORD|
|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]
ENABLING FREE INTERNET ACCESS
IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES USING A
PARTICIPATORY DESIGN APPROACH
JINESH NAGIN PAREKH
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:
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.
Washington: A US company is planning to build an ‘Outernet – a global network of cube satellites broadcasting Internet data to all the people on the planet – for free.
The idea is to offer free Internet access to all people, regardless of location, bypassing filtering or other means of censorship, according to the New York based non-profit organisation, Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF).
MDIF proposes that hundreds of cube satellites be built and launched to create a constellation of sorts in the sky, allowing anyone with a phone or computer to access Internet data sent to the satellites by several hundred ground stations.
The organisation claims that 40 per cent of the people in the world today are still not able to connect to the Internet – and it’s not just because of restrictive governments such as North Korea – it’s also due to the high cost of bringing service to remote areas, ‘phys.org’ reported.
An Outernet would allow people from Siberia to parts of the western US to remote islands or villages in Africa to receive the same news as those in New York or Tokyo.
The Outernet would be one-way – data would flow from feeders to the satellites which would broadcast to all below. MDIF plans to add the ability to transmit from anywhere as well as soon as funds become available.
MDIF has acknowledged that building such a network would not be cheap. Such satellites typically run USD 100,000 to USD 300,000 to build and launch.
The timeline for the project calls for deploying the initial cubesats as early as next summer.
Subject: Mumbai to get free WiFi spots soon!
By Jinesh Parekh
January 15, 2015
MUMBAI, IN – An organization called MUFT Internet announced today that it has devised a technological system that will enable chai stalls in India with free WiFi access by 2016.
For a sum of INR 500 per month you could enable internet access for 50 people in India for 30 days. That’s an Internet bill of Rs.10 per person for an entire month. MUFT Internet plans to set up its free internet access points at chai stalls, cafes, schools, hospital clinics, train stops and all public areas.
“NO subscription fees. NO data fees. MUFT WiFi hotspots will ALWAYS be free. Just create a MUFT WiFi account and enjoy free internet everywhere! It should be that simple”
said Vipul Patel, co-founder of the Muft Internet project who plans to use a simplified network architecture and interaction design techniques to make it simple for users in India to access free internet.
Currently, 85% of India is still offline. 1 out of 1.3 billion Indians have never been online. The organization strongly believes that free internet should be considered as a human right and is working on ways to bridge the digital divide.
“Muft Internet has been working with government authorities, industry experts and Silicon Valley investors to make free internet access possible.”
– Mr Siddarth Bharwani, Director at Jetking Infotrain and member at Muft Internet.
The organization recently launched its first devices called the MUFT WiFi hotspots. These young scientists claim that with MUFT WiFi hotspots they will enable tea stalls to provide free internet access to its customers.
“Economic reforms begins with free internet access. Think of the impact on society with free information access!”
says Neha Rambhia (ex-IIT Bombay), a volunteer at Muft Internet.
Recent surveys shows cafes and restaurants that offer free WiFi enjoy more customers and footfalls than those who don’t. MUFT WiFi hotspots are helping small business owners improve their revenue and customer experience – by enabling their customers with free internet access.
MUFT WiFi hotspots will come in three monthly packages (hardware + software + service solutions) – Asha, Kiran and Pragati which will have a range of 25 m2, 50 m2 and 150 m2.
The pilot project begins with a small fast food joint called Mumbai Masala at Fort (Mumbai) and a hospital waiting room in Virar. The organization is reviewing applicants that can adopt these spots.
“I am excited about this idea. It’s refreshing and would love to see how my sales are improved after the free wifi service.” Said the very first owner of MUFT WiFi hotspot – Mr. Rajesh Shah (Owner, Mumbai Masala)
Key facts about MUFT WiFi hotspots
A free internet (WiFi) access point system that works with any ISP and can be used by EVERYONE for FREE INTERNET!
MUFT WiFi hotspots uses a series of new and #opensource technologies in the field of network architecture, internet distributions, wireless networks and interaction design.
MUFT WiFi hotspots will soon be present at train stations once the necessary permissions are obtained from the Railway ministry.
Unlike most wireless network, MUFT WiFi hotspots manages the security of the entire network to prevent cyber attacks.
The hardware is light weight, easy to install and is backed by powerful cloud technology that does not compromise on the security.
The technology was created by researchers from over 8 universities – Tallinn University (Estonia), SciencePo University (France), Harvard Business School (USA), Singapore Management University are to name a few.
The ultimate goal of this technology is to have “free WiFi cities” in India.
About Muft Internet
What started as a Human Computer Interaction and Participatory Design research project with an aim to bring more people from developing countries online is now turning into a revolutionary information access movement that will transform India into a digital society.
The word ‘Muft’ / (मुफ़्त) means ‘Free’ in Hindi. We believe that free Internet access is a human right.
NOTE: We are not internet service providers, we are enablers. We work with the ISPs, government authorities and advertisers/investors to enable places with free internet access.
To learn more about this please visit http://muftinternet.com/muftwifi/ or come over at:
THREE SPIN CREATIVE SOLUTION PVT LTD.
4TH FLR FEDERATION HOUSE
ANADILAL PODAR MARG
Phone: +91 22 2208 2800 | Email: [email protected]
[Tweet “Rs. 10 (10 cents) per month per person Internet Plan to roll out in Mumbai! #digitalindia #ICT4D”]
“For as little as Rs 500 (appx. 9Euros) a month, Muft Internet will provide 50 people with Internet connection for 30 days.”
“That’s an Internet bill of RS.10 (appx. 10 cents) per person per month.”
“It will be possible to bring free wifi at almost every chai stall”
These claims have not been made by marketers. They have been made by Human Computer Interaction scientists, ex-IITians and investors.
Over the past 12 months, university students from 8 different countries have been working on a join research with it’s central topic as
“How do we bring more people from developing countries online?”
1 billion in India have never been online. India is one of the top IT exporters in the world yet it has one of the lowest internet users per capita.
This is when everyone started on a concept together. It’s now called MUFT WiFi hotspots.
MUFT WiFi hotspots – A free internet (WiFi) access point system that works with any ISP and can be used by EVERYONE for FREE INTERNET!
These hotspots will be available to public spaces for everyone to use. Advertisers can adopt a spot for as little as Rs. 10 per user per month.
They argue that their uniqueness lies in their break through technology and alternate pricing system.
Take a look at the price plan. It’s unique and doesn’t follow conventional ISP complexity.
It’s still unclear about which places will be the first to get MUFT WiFi. It would definitely take time to bring the remaining 85% of India online.
[Tweet “Internet connection @ Rs 10 per month starting this year! @narendramodi’s #digitalindia dream coming true! http://wp.me/p5neXD-kP”]
Microsoft India is ready with a plan to provide free last-mile internet connectivity across the country.
It proposes to use the “white space” – the unused spectrum between two TV channels – to provide free connectivity to large sections of the Indian population.
“Wifi has a range of only about 100 metres, whereas the 200-300 MHz spectrum band available in the white space can reach up to 10 km,” said Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman, Microsoft India. “This spectrum belongs mainly to Doordarshan and the government and is not used at all. We have sought clearance for a pilot project in two districts.”
If the pilots are successful, the project can be quickly rolled out across the country and could give a huge boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, which proposes to use technology to deliver governance to every citizen of India, even in remote areas.
“The challenge is the lack of digital infrastructure across India. This initiative addresses this challenge in a cost-effective manner and creates an eco-system that will benefit everyone, including manufacturers of routers and other technology devices, other technology companies, besides Microsoft,” Pramanik said.
Microsoft’s initiative also take forward the Prime Minister’s slogan of “IT + IT = IT”, which is Indian talent plus information technology equals India tomorrow and also give a push to the ‘Make in India’ campaign by encouraging the manufacture of equipment locally.
Microsoft, which was part of an international consortium that included BT, Nokia and BBC, conducted the most widespread field trials on white space-based Internet connectivity in Cambridge, US, in 2011. The technology hasn’t been widely adopted anywhere in the world, but experts believe it can lead to a spurt in broadband connectivity in countries such as India. Engineers at Microsoft development centres in India have adapted this unlicenced technology for this country.
The ambitious Digital India project envisages providing broadband connectivity across the country by connecting 250,000 gram panchayats via optic fibre cables, thereby providing digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, digital governance and services on demand and digitally empowering all citizens.
The plan was approved by the Modi Cabinet on August 30.
Trestor Foundation, a non-profit private organisation, is looking forward to enter the digital currency market in India. It enables digital money along with a complete new payment and market system. Trestor aims to help under-developed and developing countries uplift their economies.
The Trestor Network or T-Net, is a decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen.
From a consumer perspective, T- Net is a computer program or mobile app that provides a personal digital wallet that allows a user to send and receive Trests with them. “Using Trests is as simple as using email or WhatsApp. Beyond this, the users are benefited with facilities such as; faster and cost efficient to transfer, Trests can be transferred at minimum (close to zero) fees. They can be easily sent to anyone, anywhere in the world without paying up to 55 – 60 % transaction fees,” said Kunal Dixit, Founder, Trestor Foundation.
T-Net is an open source, peer-to-peer network
T-Net transactions are irreversible, sent over the Internet, and counterfeit proof
T-Net uses an advanced form of the same underlying cryptography as Bitcoin
T-Net nodes can be run by anyone
T-Net transactions are fully confirmed in seconds (Bitcoin takes ~ 10 mins)
T-Net allows usernames for accounts (Bitcoin has long 26-35 digit alphanumeric addresses, these are impossible to memorize)
T-Net solves the double spending problem with consensus instead of proof-of-work (which is used by Bitcoin)
Consensus is the process by which the entire network agrees on the same Ledger. It is what keeps everybody on the same page.
“Trests are short for Trestor Donation Receipts (TDRs). Instead of issuing paper receipts to our donors, we issue electronic receipts aka ‘Trests’. On the date of launch, January 5, 2015, the price of 1 Trest would be equivalent to 1 US cent. That is, you can buy about 160 Trests with a 100 Rupee note. The price would then change depending upon relative demand and supply,” said Dixit.
Trest have properties resulting from the system’s design that allows them to be subjectively valued by individuals. This valuation is demonstrated when individuals freely exchange Trests over the exchanges. Trestor Foundation has a mandate to keep the market for Trests deep and liquid, this helps in price stability. Trestor Foundation is the buyer of last resort in case of a market selloff; it is a seller if the market gets too heated, added Dixit.
Is it a digital bank?
“Trestor is neither a ‘brick and mortar’ nor a ‘digital’ bank because we are not a deposit taking institution. If a donor donates money to Trestor, she will receive ‘Trests’ i.e. our donation receipts; In exchange, the ownership of the donated capital shifts from her to Trestor Foundation. Her ‘Trests’ carry a certain market value, she can choose to either keep them or exchange them for Rupees over any of the major cryptocurrency exchanges,” said Dixit.
“As a non-profit our priorities are towards fulfilling our mission ie. to create the most efficient Money, Payment and Market system for the world. Therefore there are no transaction fees for making any transaction over T-Net. We would be launching many other exciting products in 1st quarter of 2015, all of those would be free to use, we would not be charging for any other additional services / product development. Just like Wikipedia and Mozilla Foundation, a part of our donation capital would help us take care of our operating expenses and rest would be utilized to further our mission,” said Dixit.
T-Net goes live on January 5, 2015. Users can download the app on their smartphone or computer.
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.
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 affordability. Imagine 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”]