DePIN-powered initiative aims to expand internet access in India

Wifi Dabba, a decentralized internet service provider, recently announced plans to expand internet connectivity in India by distributing over 100,000 devices across the country.

These devices, hosted on the Solana blockchain, are part of the DePIN project, which aims to connect the unconnected by the end of the year. Only 30 million individuals in India, a country of more than 1.4 billion, have access to WiFi, while a large portion of the population remains detached from the internet.

The company’s strategy focuses on decentralization to combat the limited reach of India’s major telecom corporations, which primarily serve urban areas. Karam Lakshman, CEO of Wifi Dabba, criticized the slow pace of current connectivity efforts. He believes that achieving nationwide coverage could take decades. He stressed the importance of widespread internet access to support India’s position as the second-largest crypto holder and the fifth-largest global economy.

In a statement, Lakshman advocated for the role of blockchain technology in providing reliable internet access, with device maintenance managed by external providers. He views the DePIN model as a scalable solution for improving internet connectivity in developing nations.

The project plans on using India as a testing ground for global applications.

To extend its network, Wifi Dabba plans to collaborate with Local Cable Operators (LCOs) in India, leveraging their reach within communities. This partnership aims to foster growth and market leadership in decentralized wireless and WiFi networks, as noted by Arul Murugan, Managing Partner at Borderless Capital, one of the project’s main investors.

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The project urges hotspot owners to join by purchasing Wifi Dabba’s router hardware and partnering with local cable operators for deployment. The firm will also offer Dabba tokens as rewards for data usage.

The campaign will primarily target areas with significant demand for paid WiFi connectivity for installing these devices.

Wifi Dabba’s head of communications, Dawn Philip, predicts a “significant surge” in DePIN usage in 2024, especially in developing nations. He echoed Lakhsman’s sentiments, highlighting the opportunities in regions where infrastructure development is critically needed.

The recent development coincides with a broader embrace of blockchain technology across various sectors in India. In Feb. 2024, STAN, an Indian eSports startup, announced a partnership with blockchain platform Aptos Labs. STAN aims to build an e-sports fan platform atop the Aptos blockchain. Gamers in India will be able to interact with their favorite creators on the platform.

Meanwhile, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) recently launched non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as tickets. Passengers on the Tejas Express trains—train numbers 82501 and 82502—will be able to pick up these limited NFTs during their travels from March 20 to April 2.

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