Liquid Telecom has announced a partnership with the Kiambu County government which will see the company create free street Wi-Fi zones in major towns within the County. The project is part of Liquid Telecom’s Hai brand. Hai seeks to create free WiFi hotspots in major towns across the country with Kshs. 100 Million earmarked for the project. There are currently over 350 hot-spots across the country in towns including Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kajiado, and Nyeri.
In Kiambu, the project will be implemented in phases with the first phase targeting Thika, Ruiru, Kiambu and Kikuyu towns. The second phase will connect Limuru, Kabete, Lari, Gatundu South, Gatundu North, Githunguri, Kiambaa, and Juja. The connection will cover a 5km radius from the Central Business Districts of each of four towns, with a capacity of 10 Megabytes per second (10 Mbps).
The county government has the chosen four hot spots in each town which will include the bus stage, main hospital, main market and the county government headquarters. The first of the Wi-Fi installations will be at Thika, in the Thika bus stop and at the level 5 hospital. In Ruiru, they will be at the Ruiru sub-county hospital and bus stop. In Kiambu town, these will be near Kiambu hospital and in Kikuyu at the sub county offices, main stage, market and at Alliance bus stop.
Deployment of the same will use the model under implementation in Nakuru County under the Bila Waya street Wi-Fi. Bila Waya, is a partnership between the State House Digital Team, Nakuru County Government and Liquid Telecom. The Wi-Fi is offered to users for a minimum of 15 minutes of unlimited free use after which they pay a small fee to access. In 2015, Liquid Telecom announced the launch of an App called the Liquid Telecom Wi-Fi Finderapp, to allow users find the free wifi hotspots. The app will show the locations of the free Wi-Fi as well as the address and contact details for each hotspot.
The Kiambu County Government is hoping the free Wi-Fi will allow for the uptake of services under the digitika portal. The Digitika Portal enables residents to log in and request services from the county as well as make online payments using MPESA, Airtel Money, Visa or MasterCard.