Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC, which operates under MTS brand in India, is planning to roll out a pilot project for the Centre's 7,000-crore Smart City initiative and, as part of the Digital India programme, explore a sustainable business model for monetisation of Wi-Fi networks.
MTS, which operates in nine telecom circles, said that it supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of Digital India and has capability to replicate the Smart City subsystems it had implemented together with subsidiary Sitronics Cams in Moscow, Sochi, Rostov, Ufa and Makhachkala.
Sitronics, Sistema's systems integration company, offers design, equipment, integrated security and intelligent transportation systems, and specialises in large-scale implementations that include automation for intelligent traffic management across Moscow. "We could like to use our expertise and start with one or two pilot projects for the Prime Minister's Digital India initiative. We can replicate the Moscow city model here and help decongest Indian roads as well as provide a more organised traffic management system," Dmitry Shukov, chief executive of MTS India, told ET. He said smart cities will have security cameras deployed across key traffic intersections for a comprehensive monitoring of traffic flow as well as law and order situation.
In case of medical emergencies, the central command centre can instantly alert the police and a designated ambulance in the area that in turn can be directed to the nearest hospital through least congested zones to save lives, Shukov said. The telecom operator is also eyeing new Wi-Fi projects and has plans to monetise internet services that it has set up at six railway stations in Ahmedabad, Agra, Varanasi, Mumbai CST, Howrah and Secunderabad.
As part of a broader plan, MTS is currently engaging with partners and government agencies to work out a sustainable business model to ensure monetisation of Wi-Fi networks. "We have to treat Wi-Fi as a utility service and we are in talks with RailTel for monetisation of this Wi-Fi model," Sukhov said.
Currently, we do it free of cost. In addition, we have plans to provide additional services via Wi-Fi hotspots," he said. The company is also exploring the possibility of bringing in new service avenues such as real-time rail information and platform ticketing, and has already submitted its proposal to the railways ministry in this regard.
Through this one-of-its-kind initiative, travellers using these railway stations get high-speed internet services through the MTS 3GPlus network. On average, Howrah railway station consumes nearly 250 GB of data in a day, which exceeds a few cell sites put together.