DePINs: Revolutionizing Internet Access in India

Internet connectivity in India is set to become more decentralized through the deployment of a new decentralized physical infrastructure network called DePIN. Wifi Dabba, an internet service provider, plans to distribute over 100,000 DePIN devices to users across India by the end of the year. Currently, only 30 million Indian citizens have regular access to WiFi, with almost half of the population having no access at all. This marks the second time that Wifi Dabba is distributing its DePIN-connected devices, which have been consuming a monthly average of 90-100 terabytes of paid data. Users who own their own router hardware will have the opportunity to earn Wifi Dabba tokens as a reward for data consumed by hotspot users.

According to Karam Lakshman, the CEO of Wifi Dabba, India is an ideal location for deploying DePIN technology due to the lack of access to internet services for many Indians. He also pointed out that major telecom companies in the country primarily focus on urban areas, leaving rural areas underserved. Lakshman emphasized that the urgent need for faster infrastructure development in India is due to the country’s economic growth and technological innovation. He also highlighted the potential scalability of DePIN technology and its applicability in other developing nations facing similar connectivity challenges.

Shubhendu Sharma, the chief operating officer of Wifi Dabba, explained that DePINs offer advantages over the centralized model dominated by a few telecom firms. The decentralized network allows for faster infrastructure expansion through the involvement of incentivized deployers like local cable operators. Sharma also mentioned how the transparency of a decentralized network enables the public availability of data and promotes the development of innovative tools and solutions.

Wifi Dabba’s existing networks in Bangalore have already seen widespread usage across different economic strata, with various use cases from taxi and delivery drivers to corporate executives. The company has also participated in Google’s local public WiFi initiatives in India and contributed to enhancing internet accessibility nationwide through laser free-space optical communication internet deployments.

DePINs have gained popularity in the Web3 community as a significant innovation to bridge the gap between the decentralized world and mainstream adoption. In Europe, one company even tokenized 100 Tesla cars using DePIN technology for a ride-sharing initiative in 2023. Dawn Philip, the communications director for Wifi Dabba, expects a significant increase in the adoption of DePINs and related services in developing nations in 2024. She believes that these regions, where infrastructure development is most needed, present untapped potential for decentralized networks to thrive.

The deployment of DePIN technology in India and other developing nations aims to address the connectivity challenges they face. By offering decentralized solutions and involving multiple stakeholders, these networks can provide better service, accountability, and accessibility to internet connectivity.

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