Google and Wananchi want you to see the convenience that is Wazi Wi-Fi

Wazi Wi-Fi
Click to see full size image.
Wazi Wi-Fi
Wazi Wi-Fi coverage in Nairobi, click to see full size image.

Only 6% of Kenya National internet capacity of 8400G(8.4Tbps) is in use, that’s around 574G, and this goes to show we are really underutilising the fiber capacity we get in the country for use. The country is still hungry for data, and as Riyaz Bachani,Group CTO at Wananchi Group who is in charge of Wazi Wi-Fi puts it, consumers are usually very self aware when using internet on mobile devices via 3G. This makes the fixed connection the primary method users consume data as they are able to consume without worry of data caps. Wi-Fi is slowly becoming a “mobile offload” to do more stuff online while on the move, consumers are doing more of  things like mobile applications updates and video consumption where there is Wi-Fi.

Wazi Wi-Fi seeks to fill in this gap by providing users with internet access on various Wi-Fi hotspots on a single sign-on. Wazi Wi-Fi has already deployed over 400 Wi-Fi access points in 200 hotspot locations in Nairobi, and is already rolling out in Mombasa in the bid to go country wide in the future. Pricing of Wazi Wi-Fi is at Kshs. 50 a day or 500 a month per device and this can be a solution for mobile internet access as long as you are near a hot-spot.

“Wi-Fi is the last mile connectivity technology we believe 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,” said Riyaz during a recent briefing.

Wazi Wi-Fi is still young with 200 hotspots in Nairobi which are also limited geographically, but they are seeking partners with other wireless hotspot owners and infrastructure players to have the spread of access across the country. Joseph Mucheru, Google SSA Ambassador and Kenya Country Lead notes that 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, adding that the cost structure of the service helps break the cost barrier, which limits number of people using the internet.