ONGATA RONGAI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Express Wi-Fi by Facebook has officially been launched in Kenya.
The project, which is a collaboration between Facebook and Surf, will provide a fast, affordable public wi-fi hotspot service.
Surf has already rolled out more than 100 Express Wi-Fi hotspots in several communities in the greater metropolitan area of Nairobi including Ongata Rongai, Limuru, Kiserian, Kitengela, Kiambu, Mlolongo, Ngong, Ruaka, Thika and Wangige.
Starting this week, the Express Wi-Fi service will also be available in Kisumu and Mombasa, with many more towns to come
Surf CEO Mark Summer has said Express Wi-Fi will expand the consumers’ options for internet access.
“We are honored to be working with Facebook, who powers Express Wi-Fi, and Internet Solutions, formerly Access Kenya, who is our service provider partner enabling us to expand rapidly throughout the country.”
The wi-fi hotspots are currently focused in areas where people gather for work, transit or entertainment such as markets, matatu stages and chill spots.
Anyone with a wi-fi capable device can use Express Wi-Fi without switching SIM cards or having a data plan, as long as you can receive a one-time SMS on any device.
Consumers use wi-fi enabled devices to connect through wi-fi, which means people can use most Android and IOS phones, tablets, and even laptops.
Surf is working with local entrepreneurs to host and sell the Express Wi-Fi service. The entrepreneurs offer the service around their locations and customers can purchase a range of packages.
Surf is offering an introductory promotion, where every new customer gets 100MBs every day for 10 days.
In addition, anyone connected to an Express Wi-Fi hotspot can access Facebook Flex and FreeBasics, a collection of websites including content such as news, employment, health, education and local information, for free while connected to the Express Wi-Fi network.
“Express Wi-Fi empowers local entrepreneurs with the tools and technology to start a business to offer internet access to their town or region, while helping their customers connect easily and for an affordable rate,” said Uche Ofodile, Regional Head of Africa, Express Wi-Fi by Facebook.
“In Kenya, we are excited to be partnering with Surf and we are excited to share that the service is already commercially available with more than 100 hotspots across the greater Nairobi metropolitan area.”