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

Story

Safaricom launches M-Pesa 'super app'

Safaricom has launched its long-awaited M-Pesa 'super app' with new features like offline mode as well as mini-apps within the app.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Nigeria's Bankly

Nigerian startup Bankly is digitizing cash for people who work in the informal sector and helping unbanked Nigerians save money, invest and gain access to credit and other financial services.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: May 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about new licenses for operators in Ethiopia and Uganda, and Nigeria's 5G rollout plans.

Story

Omdia View: April 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context around Ethiopia's telecoms licensing process, Millicom's plans to exit Tanzania and Ghana, and Airtel Africa's successful capital raise.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

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.

Story

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.

Story

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

North Africa Com
July 13-14, 2021
Virtual Event
Asia Tech x Singapore
July 13-16, 2021
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Africa Tech Festival
November 8-12, 2021
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Technologies and business models to connect the next billion

Nearly half the planet remains unconnected at a time when COVID-19 has forced people’s reliance on the Internet and digital technologies higher than ever before. Bridging the digital divide to provide Mobile Internet access – the main driver of digital inclusion – is exceedingly important in the current context. Overcoming this connectivity crisis represents a growth opportunity for Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to expand their services outside of the crowded, highly competitive urban markets.

In this webinar we will focus on solutions that help MNOs close both the coverage gap and the usage gap.

Key topics include:

  • What are the barriers to overcome increased Mobile Internet adoption?
  • How to match deployments cost with expected revenue?
  • Operator success story

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up