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Google Earth Mash-Up Helps Mesh Mumbai

Once the network is live later this year, LifeStyle plans to market its own services, such as video surveillance, to Mumbai business using its own Spidigo services brand. But the citywide network will be opened up to third party service providers on a wholesale basis, including multiple niche services and applications, from plain Internet access to IPTV.

Where such high-bandwidth services, such as IPTV, are offered, LifeStyle will add further radios to make the network denser, a move that can increase the wireless bandwidth to 15 Mbit/s, says Javeri, but that will be done on a demand-driven basis.

All Mumbai's residents and businesses need are laptops that either already have embedded 802.11g radios installed, which most new laptops do. For those that don't, a network card can be bought for just 1,500 rupees ($34.50).

Javeri says that with so little broadband connectivity available -- the whole country only has about 2 million DSL customers currently -- and no 3G mobile licenses available to the mobile carriers, there is little in the way of competition.

That's set to change soon, though, as the local incumbent carrier in Mumbai, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) , is investing more heavily in DSL, and 3G licenses could become available to the nation's mobile operators within months. To spur the investment, the Indian government has named 2007 as the Year of Broadband.

With competitive DSL services available for as little as 250 rupees ($5.77) per month in India, Javeri will need to think hard about his pricing strategy. But Javeri, believes he will have a head start in providing reliable broadband access, and he reckons he can get a good return on his network investment from just a small percentage of the potential user base in Mumbai, which is one of India's biggest financial and technology centers.

He's so confident of success that he's already planning a similar network in another Indian city, Ahmedabad, home to more than five million people and the largest city and financial center in the Gujarat region in West India.

He is currently working on the availability of sites, and getting the relevant local permission, and hopes to start building out the network within a few months.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:11:43 PM
re: Google Earth Mash-Up Helps Mesh Mumbai This sounds like a great application for wireless mesh.
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