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July 5, 2021

Wifi Dabba bets on Alphabet’s lasers for next-gen internet grid

Wifi Dabba, a startup internet service provider, is deploying lasers on rooftops in a grid across Bengaluru city. Once connected, this network will serve 11 million people the fastest and cheapest internet in India.

A map of Bengaluru city showing potential installation locations of Wifi Dabba links

Bengaluru, India - Wifi Dabba today announced a revolutionary internet grid designed to provide broadband connectivity at incredibly low prices. The 4g data boom accelerated by Covid-19 has dramatically increased the need for better connectivity across India. Wifi Dabba is bringing 11 million people online by providing internet access at a price point that everyone can afford.

Wifi Dabba will provide 1gb/s internet access to homes, offices and industry with free installation and a dual-band gigabit wifi router. The service has two plans: Prepaid at Re.1/gb and an Unlimited plan at Rs.700 per month. $0.01/gb and $9.4/month respectively. These plans represent a 10x reduction in cost to consumers when compared to the industry’s average plan price.

The Wifi Dabba network is publicly owned by engineers from Netflix, Apple, Google and Twitter among many other tech companies. This democratization of the ownership of internet infrastructure is a critical ingredient in a transparent and resilient network.

“This revolutionary combination of next-gen technology and distributed ownership is a leap forward in the evolution of internet access.” saidKaram Lakshman,CEO, “Wifi Dabba makes high-speed broadband access available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.”

Launching the laser revolution

After rigorous testing and deployment of a beta for 18 months, Wifi Dabba starts the commercial deployment of it’s laser powered network grid at scale. In the beta deployment Wifi Dabba served over half a million unique users on it’s network and served 22pb of traffic.

Due to the dense urban environment in Bangalore, where bandwidth requirements are high and it would be too difficult or costly to lay fiber, Wifi Dabba has chosen to deploy wireless optical communications in its laser grid network. WD has chosen Alphabet's Taara to deploy in their core backhaul and connect the entire city of Bangalore with a wireless fiber backhaul.

Wifi Dabba is at the forefront of internet innovation. A first of its kind deployment on a commercial network, WD will be the first ISP in the country building & operating their own backhaul built over laser tech at this scale. With the Beta network results, WD believes laser backhaul will help them bring unprecedented speed, superior QoS and at way cheaper prices to 11M citizens of Bangalore.

“These lasers allow WD to deploy a city-scale broadband internet access system at an unprecedented speed of a few months when historically it has taken years when using underground fiber as is the current industry standard.” said Shubhendu Sharma,COO, “The manpower and regulation requirements are dramatically lower than traditional networks being deployed by current ISPs and Telcos.”

Democratizing internet access

100 global citizens now own a piece of the Internet in Bangalore. A unique funding model that WD has created for the industry, the WD partner program presents a scalable and sustainable model to reliably scale broadband access for a billion Indians.

A PoP or point-of-presence is a 4sqkm block of Bengaluru. A PoP can be purchased by anybody and comes with a revenue share agreement. WD installs, operates, markets and maintains the PoPs while owners can monitor performance through online dashboards. A PoP costs $20,000 and the partner program for 100 initial PoPs sold out in 90 days.

The PoP partner program proves that smart engineers from tech companies around the world are willing to bet with their wallets on the Wifi Dabba model for the future of internet access in India.

Please contact shubhendu@wifidabba.com for more information.