Kenyan operator Wananchi Group and Google have entered into a partnership to launch public wi-fi hotspots across the country
The Wazi-Wi-Fi project will seek to boost the local Internet and wireless market, according to Wananchi.
Wazi Wi-Fi has deployed more than 400 Wi-Fi Access Points in 200 hotspot locations in Nairobi and Mombasa.
The company said that the Wi-Fi access points and hotspots would ensure that customers had unlimited Internet access to enable them to continue with their digital networking while on the move.
Wananchi further revealed, “Besides helping people to stay in touch and up to date with friends, family and business contacts, the initiative is also geared towards getting more people online.”
Google sub-Saharan African ambassador Joseph Mucheru said the initiative would aim to give people access to the Internet using Wazi Wi-Fi.
He added, “It will improve penetration of the Internet and utilisation of the capacity we have. The cost structure of the service helps break the cost barrier, which limits number of people using the Internet.”
Explaining that only six per cent of the national Internet capacity of 8,400G was currently in use, Mucheru informed that Wazi Wi-Fi would help improve the reach of data services to the Kenyan citizens across the country to leverage on the country’s huge under-utilised capacity.
“Wazi Wi-Fi seeks to bring together different wireless networks into a common network with a centralised payment gateway that will make logging into wi-fi anywhere with the same initial sign-on,” he explained.
Riyaz Bachani, group chief technology officer at Wananchi Group, said, “Wi-fi is the last mile connectivity technology we believe will lead to better usage of the Internet capacity because of its reliability and easy connectivity. We have a good number of hotspots in Nairobi and we are looking to increase our reach to other towns to net in more customers and spread the benefit of internet.”