The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) aims to develop a framework similar to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to aid the rollout of public Wi-Fi hot spots in the country. The regulator will send a report to the department of telecommunications (DoT), based on the results of its pilot projects, TRAI chairman R.S. Sharma said in an interview. “We have been conducting pilots (for Wi-Fi hot spots). A report based on the results of the pilots will be ready soon. We are writing that report. It will be submitted to the DoT by the end of March,” he said. The pilots were conducted in Noida and Bengaluru.
Launched in 2016, UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile app (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments under one hood. Under the framework, an entity setting up a Wi-Fi hot spot need not be responsible for its marketing, customer acquisition, payments and settlements. “Unbundling creates efficiencies and customer convenience. There can be multiple payment mechanisms, multiple authentication mechanisms, but the idea is there should be a single-click on-boarding on the Wi-Fi hot spot,” Sharma said.