NANYUKI, Kenya, Mar 23 – Affordable Internet service provider Mawingu Networks is set to expand its operations in Samburu, Isiolo and Kirinyaga.
This follows the successful rollout of the network in Nanyuki and its surrounding towns of Laikipia, Embu, Meru and Nyeri.
The network which uses TV White Space has seen over 67,000 people connected with affordable Internet with costs as low as Sh10 for 50MB with speeds ranging from 2MBPS to 30MBPS.
“The TV White Space refers to the unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum. Television networks leave gaps between channels for buffering purposes, and this space in the wireless spectrum is similar to what is used for 4G and so it can be used to deliver widespread broadband internet,” said Tim Hobbs Chief Executive Mawingu Networks.
This is the first time the technology is being used in Kenya.
Since its inception in 2013, Mawingu has over 1,000 hotspots and also connects 600 small businesses to affordable internet.
The Internet service provider has also connected 26 schools, Laikipia County Government office, Red Cross, and Budguret Dispensary Healthcare Clinic.
“The affordable access has changed a lot of lives, with students getting access to the internet, and opening up of businesses, and farmers looking for information,” Hobbs added.
In 2016, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) committed Sh400 million in financing to help Mawingu commercially expand into more rural communities.
Microsoft also bought a 10 per cent stake at the firm.
“Through our Microsoft 4Afrika, main goal is to provide affordable access of internet, Innovation and world class skills in the African continent. Over 50 per cent of the world population is still not connected to the Internet,” said Lutz Ziob Dean for Microsoft 4Afrika.