Wi-Fi for Affordable Broadband & 5G in Rural Areas

  • Kishore Kumar Thakur IETE University, Ranchi, Chairman, IETE Ranchi Centre, Jharkhand, India https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9979-9734
  • Ramjee Prasad Professor, Future Technologies for Business Ecosystem Innovation (FT4BI), Aarhus University, Denmark
Keywords: Broadband, Wi-Fi, 5G


The importance of Internet in our lives today cannot be overemphasized. So much so that access to Internet has been declared a fundamental right of citizens in several countries such as Finland, Spain, and Greece [1]. In most of the developed countries, high-speed Internet connectivity is enabled through wired communication infrastructure such as Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Very high bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL). Unfortunately, the situation is not particularly encouraging in developing countries due to non-availability of such a pervasive communication infrastructure. The difference in the fiber-deployed-to-population ratio across developed and developing countries further underscores this disparity; while this ratio is 1.2 in USA, it is barely 0.1 in India [2]. Owing to this inadequacy of fiber/DSL availability, cellular access technology has emerged as the primary broadband access mechanism in developing countries.

However, the penetration of cellular network is limited in rural areas as its deployment becomes unviable due to challenges such as low average revenue per user, sparse population density, and intermittent availability of electricity. This situation leaves majority of the rural people unconnected thereby creating a massive rural urban digital divide. The next generation cellular system along with the use of unlicensed Wi-Fi Technology can bridge this divide if we overcome the above-mentioned challenges. However, since the Fifth Generation (5G) cellular technology has focus on requirements such as 10 Gbps data rate, 1 ms latency, and very high speed mobility, the problems of coverage and affordability are likely to persist, further widening the digital divide [3]. This article explains how Wi-Fi is being used for affordable high speed broadband in rural areas. A successfully implemented case study of Jharkhand state is also presented, and it can be adopted as reliable business model for 5G or 5G type services in rural areas [4].


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Author Biographies

Kishore Kumar Thakur, IETE University, Ranchi, Chairman, IETE Ranchi Centre, Jharkhand, India

Kishore Kumar Thakur, FIETE is Hon. Director (Admin.), IETE University, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India and also the Chairman, IETE Ranchi Centre. He recently retired as the Chief General Manager Telecom, Jharkhand Circle in February 2020. He obtained his B. Tech. (Electronics and Communications Engg.) from BIT Sindri in 1983 and MBA (Marketing) from BR Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad in 2009. Currently pursuing PhD under the supervision of Ramjee Prasad, Professor, Future Technologies for Business Ecosystem Innovation, Aarhus University, Herning, Denmark. Possesses 37 years of work experience. Served as Assistant Computer Engineer in TISCO Jamshedpur.

Worked in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Department of Telecommunications for last 33 Years, mostly in Hyderabad Telephones. Worked with all technologies, namely manual exchanges, strowger, cross-bar, E10B (Local/Tax), C-DOT, System-X, EWSD, OCB, 5ESS, LG (CDMA) and GSM. Associated with development works during the periods of major technological changes.

Worked for one year as DGM in Nagaland in2002–2003. Served as GMTD, at Cuddapah and Warangal, districts and as GM (Marketing), AP Circle Hyderabad in-charge of sales and distribution, franchisee management, marketing and PR activities. Also worked as GM (Mobile), J&K Circle for 2 years and as GM (Projects) Hyderabad for two years. Attended workshops, seminars and training on switching, transmission, mobile and management courses. Also attended comprehensive Lucent Technology training in the USA on 5ESS switch. Leading a balanced life with Sahaj Yoga Meditation and advise others also the same.

Ramjee Prasad, Professor, Future Technologies for Business Ecosystem Innovation (FT4BI), Aarhus University, Denmark

Ramjee Prasad is a Professor of Future Technologies for Business Ecosystem Innovation in the Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark. He is the Founder President of the CTIF Global Capsule (CGC). He is also the Founder Chairman of the Global ICT Standardisation Forum for India, established in 2009. GISF has the purpose of increasing of the collaboration between European, Indian, Japanese, North-American and other worldwide standardization activities in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and related application areas.

He has been honored by the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy as a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine on March 15, 2016. He is Honorary Professor of University of Cape Town, South Africa, and University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

He has received Ridderkorset af Dannebrogordenen (Knight of the Dannebrog) in 2010 from the Danish Queen for the internationalization of top-class telecommunication research and education.

He has received several international awards such as: IEEE Communications Society Wireless Communications Technical Committee Recognition Award in 2003 for making contribution in the field of “Personal, Wireless and Mobile Systems and Networks”, Telenor’s Research Award in 2005 for impressive merits, both academic and organizational within the field of wireless and personal communication, 2014 IEEE AESS Outstanding Organizational Leadership Award for: “Organizational Leadership in developing and globalizing the CTIF (Center for TeleInFrastruktur) Research Network”, and so on.

He has been Project Coordinator of several EC projects namely, MAGNET, MAGNET Beyond, eWALL and so on. He has published more than 30 books, 1000 plus journal and conference publications, more than 15 patents, over 100 PhD Graduates and larger number of Masters (over 250). Several of his students are today worldwide telecommunication leaders themselves.



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Long Tail – Walking the Extra Mile on Rural Broadband Business by Satya N. Gupta ISBN-10: 1684665841; ISBN-13: 978-1684665846