Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI)

Context: The Indian vision of Connectivity and digital empowerment of citizens can be realised through the large-scale implementation of PM-WANI scheme.

On the proposal of Department of Telecom (DoT) to proliferate broadband through public wi-fi networks cabinet approved the PM-WANI framework.

This framework takes forward the goal of National Digital Communications Policy, 2018 (NDCP) of creating a robust digital communications infrastructure. 

The PM-WANI framework envisages provision of Broadband through Public Wi-Fi Hotspot providers. It will consist of elements such as Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA), App Provider and Central Registry.

image 62

Objective of PM-WANI

  • This framework aims to proliferate broadband access through public Wi-Fi networks, with a focus on creating a robust digital communications infrastructure in India
  • One of the primary objectives of PM-WANI is to simplify the process of providing public Wi-Fi services. 
  • The spread of public Wi-Fi broadband promises better internet service, especially in rural areas where BharatNet is setting up hotspots.


  • Public Data Offices (PDOs)
    • Last-mile public Wi-Fi providers, known as PDOs, do not require licenses or registration, and they are not obligated to pay fees to the DoT.
    • This removes bureaucratic hurdles and encourages local shops and small establishments to become Wi-Fi providers.
  • Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs)
    • The entities that aggregate last-mile providers, known as PDOAs, only need to register, and no fees are charged for this registration.
    • The process is streamlined, with registration typically completed within seven working days of receiving applications.
  • App Providers 
    • The PM-WANI framework encourages the participation of App Providers who offer services for registering and authenticating users. 
    • These apps facilitate user access to public Wi-Fi hotspots and enhance the overall user experience.
  • Central Registry 
    • Central Registry will maintain the details of App Providers, PDOAs, and PDOs. 
    • It is currently maintained by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT).


  • Connectivity: 
    • PM-WANI aims to provide ubiquitous digital connectivity across the country. 
    • By creating a network of interoperable public Wi-Fi hotspots (PDOs), it offers a last-mile distribution of broadband at affordable prices, making internet access accessible to even the remotest areas.
  • Affordability:
    • The packages of Rs 5-10 for Wi-Fi access make Wi-Fi affordable, especially for low-income households and rural communities. 
    • This makes high-speed internet affordable, bridging the digital divide that has long persisted.
  • Simplified Operations: 
    • PM-WANI eliminates the need for licenses or permits to operate public Wi-Fi hotspots. 
    • This simplifies the process for entrepreneurs and startups, promoting innovation and competition in the digital connectivity space.
  • Open and Scalable Framework: 
    • Like the success of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the financial sector, PM-WANI provides an open and scalable framework for internet distribution. 
    • This encourages the participation of various entities, including PDOs, PDOAs, and app providers, creating a dynamic ecosystem.
  • Business Opportunities: 
    • The framework allows for the unbundling of internet distribution at the last mile, reducing the need for additional licensing fees. 
    • This opens business opportunities for aggregators, enabling them to play a crucial role in delivering affordable internet access.
  • Local Entrepreneurship: 
    • PM-WANI nurtures the growth of local entrepreneurs, who can set up PDOs in small shops, local establishments, and even households. 
    • This empowers these entrepreneurs to augment their monthly earnings while promoting internet usage in their communities.
  • Utilization of Existing Infrastructure: 
    • PM-WANI can make better use of existing infrastructure laid out by major companies like RailTel and GAIL, which is currently underutilized. 
    • It encourages Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Telcos to expand their reach to underserved areas by turning their end customers into retailers of internet services.
  • Interoperability and Scalability: 
    • PM-WANI’s unique Indian approach to interoperability, openness, and scalability makes it well-suited to address the diverse connectivity needs of the country. 
    • It can grow organically and adapt to changing technology landscapes.
  • Digital Empowerment:
    • PM-WANI contributes to the digital empowerment of citizens by providing them with affordable and accessible internet access. 
    • This empowers individuals with the knowledge and opportunities that the digital world offers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar