The country’s largest bank, SBI is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to use the company’s White Space technology, which offers wide area long distance wireless networking over the old television bands, to bring banking to rural areas in India.
The development was confirmed by SBI’s Chief General Manager (IT-operations), Dhananjaya Tambe, who said, “We are in talks with Microsoft (for white space). If they are willing to provide white space here, it will be very good.”
Microsoft has been testing the White Space technology feature in Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh.
White Space technology makes use of the unutilized space in terrestrial TV spectrum to provide internet connectivity in remote areas. Microsoft says that around 100MHz is required for the roll out of the White Space technology. This will enable a bank, post office, kirana store or a self-help group in a remote area to be able to provide Wi-Fi in their area by deploying the equipment and charging users a small fee for it.
Microsoft first tested the project in 2009 in Redmond, Washington and since then has deployed the technology across the United States, as well as working with industry consortiums and regulators around the world in such areas as Singapore, Africa, Jamaica, and the UK.