Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Google & Partners Are Connecting Nigeria to Free WiFi Hotspots

Article Image
Google announced at its recent Google for Nigeria event that 200 WiFi hotspots will be offered free of charge to connect 10 million Nigerians to the Internet. It plans to start in the capital city of Lagos before expanding into the states of Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Enugu and Abuja in 2019.

Under the banner of Google Station, the hotspots do not form a part of Google's Loon project. Instead, they will use a fiber optic network rolled out by local ISP 21st Century, with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) providing software and technical support. Google will not pay the ISP but will share ad revenues generated from usage.

Nigeria will be the first African country to have Google Station, a part of the Internet company's "Next Billion Users" project to connect people in less developed markets. The service has previously landed in India, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.

It is not the first free Internet access service in Nigeria, however. Late last year, Facebook , with local partner Coollink, launched Express WiFi to provide affordable Internet connections. Prices for that range from 40 Naira ($0.11) for 100 megabytes per day to NGN1,900 ($5.3) per month for 10 gigabytes. But users can freely access health, news, sports, jobs and other "useful sites" Facebook includes with its Free Basics service.

This selective free Internet offered by Facebook has drawn criticism over its violation of net neutrality principles, in particular in India. Express WiFi is also being offered in Kenya, Tanzania and Indonesia.

— Wei Shi, Site Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Liquid, Project Taara beam broadband across Congo River

Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Alphabet's Project Taara have found a way to bridge a particularly stubborn connectivity gap between Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa in the DRC.


Research Bites: Blockchain potential for SA agriculture

This article, in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development explores how blockchain can be used in the agricultural sector to help improve production and distribution processes.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: August 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about MTN's decision to exit Syria and not bid again for an Ethiopian license, as well as 5G news from Mauritius, Ghana, Mayotte and Reunion.


Research Bites: Blockchain potential for SA agriculture

By Roberto Mavilia and Roberta Pisani

This article, in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development explores how blockchain can be used in the agricultural sector to help improve production and distribution processes.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Digital Skills Enhancing Human Capital

As nations begin to look beyond the crisis of COVID-19 to the new future of work, an opportunity to leverage this disruption as a powerful catalyst for positive change exists – one that could reshape the future and provide more accessible, fair, and impactful digital education and training.

In this webinar, we focus on how digital skills can enhance human capital and help realise the extraordinary potential of intelligent, 4IR-ready African workforces.

Key topics include:

  • Importance of having more than basic digital skills – upskilling & reskilling
  • Championing access to online educational resources – affordable and reliable internet, electricity and hardware
  • Future career options for industry specific roles: Cloud, AI, industrial IoT, big data analytics
  • Education 4.0: How updating educational curricula is key for growth
  • The importance of progressive, industry-driven educational policy frameworks

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up