Kenya’s total bandwidth consumption is only a small fraction of the country’s total internet capacity. This is according to Joseph Mucheru, Google SSA Ambassador and Kenya Country Lead, who sees public internet hotspots as a solution to the low uptake of internet.,
Mucheru said Kenya is using 6 percent of the national Internet capacity of 8400G.
“Giving people access to the internet via Wazi Wi-fi will help improve penetration of the internet and utilization of the capacity we have, that is currently underused. The cost structure of the service helps break the cost barrier, which limits number of people using the internet.’
Wazi Wi-Fi is an initiative by Google, Wananchi Group Ltd, and other businesses which aims to provide affordable, on-the-go, internet to the public. Wazi WiFi is currently rolling out hundreds of wireless hotspots including mall, cafes, restaurants and bars.
The service allows users to access the high speed internet by paying a daily or monthly subscription using mobile payment platforms. A daily unlimited subscription costs Sh50 while for a month’s connection, costs from Sh500.
Wazi Wi-Fi has deployed over 400 Wi-Fi Access Points in 200 hotspot locations in Nairobi and Mombasa; Kenya’s largest cities. Wazi Wi-Fi is continuously seeking to partner with other wireless hotspot owners as well as general infrastructure players such as Mobile Service Operators, Internet Service Providers, Cable service providers and other firms, with the ultimate goal of having blanket coverage across the country and onwards onto the East African region.
Riyaz Bachani, Group CTO at Wananchi Group, now in charge of Wazi WiFi says Wi-Fi is the last mile connectivity technology that 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.”