India might have the cheapest data rates in the world, but that does not mean it is still accessible to everyone. Bengaluru startup WiFi Dabba, started in 2016, set out to solve this issue and aims to fix the connectivity problem with its “reliable and affordable service” called supernodes.
“When we started … we believed the key issue was in last mile connectivity and pricing. So, we worked as ISP aggregators, buying connections from players who use fibre technology,” CEO Karam Lakshman tells indianexpress.com. As days and months passed, the company realised the real problem was with the fibre itself. “We realised that fibre is the key issue so worked on developing a solution for the middle mile — supernodes,” he explains.
The cost of access to broadband is still high for most Indians, largely due to the third-party hardware, software and networking infrastructure. Couple this with the need to dig trenches to lay fibre optic and the cost goes even higher. WiFi Dabba doesn’t rely on third-party hardware, software or infrastructure and instead has developed proprietary hardware, software and networking. This saves a lot on vendor margins.
“Any user can connect to the WiFi Dabba signal and login with their Mobile Number and OTP,” says Karam. “The cost saving is so high we are able to offer Gigabit internet at the price of solving a Captcha Code puzzle.”
However, users who want uninterrupted services can purchase data much the same way they would top-up their FUP on a broadband connection. Currently, WiFi Dabba is offering 1GB data at just Re 1.
The company hasn’t revealed any plan to expand beyond Bengaluru for now.
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