Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Sunday said that Microsoft will take low-cost broadband technology to 500,000 villages across India as a partner in the ambitious Digital India programme.
“We believe that low-cost broadband connectivity coupled with the scale of cloud computing intelligence that can be harnessed from data can help drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all sizes.”
Microsoft is planning to use the “white space” – the unused spectrum between two TV channels, to provide free internet connectivity.
In India, these spaces end up being available in the 200-300 MHz spectrum band, although there are chunks of unused spectrum available in India up to 700 MHz. Currently, that spectrum belongs to a national broadcaster in India, Dorrdarshan. White space signals can travel up to 10 kilometers, which makes the technology perfect for connecting rural or expensive-to-wire areas.