Facebook to Launch Express Wi-Fi in Lagos Nigeria following success in India

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A few weeks back, Facebook announced it was rebooting the free basics service in India by launching Express Wifi. With Express Wi-Fi, Facebook was partnering with internet service providers allowing users to purchase data.  Facebook will then offers these ISPs software that helps them sell with a 15% commission on each data sale. At the same time, the ISPs will work to provide internet service in rural areas, which can be accessed via public Wi-Fi hotspots. The success of the project in India was to act as a launching pad for the service in other developing nations across the world.

According to Tech Cabal, Facebook has partnered with Nigerian ISP Cool Link in launching the service in Lagos. Express Wifi hotspots will have service speeds of 10Mbps with plans ranging from as low as N40 (Kshs. 12) for 100MB daily to N1,600 (Kshs. 514) for 5GB monthly. Tech Cabal also says that users in Lagos will have a 14-day free trial for the service with daily usage capped at 100 MBs.

Express Wi-Fi was preceded by Free Basics which was an ambitious plan by the social network to bring the internet to parts of the world that do not have it.  Through it, users access basic web services such as weather reports, Wikipedia, Facebook at no cost. The grand scheme of things is to have these users enjoy these basic services which would, in turn, inspire them to explore the rest of the web. In India, Free Basics faced criticism from the tech community stating that would disadvantage them in terms of users accessing their sites. Others were of the opinion that the scheme violated their privacy as developer guidelines stated websites should not include HTTPS, TLS or SSL encryption technologies. We certainly hope Express Wi-Fi lands in Nairobi soon.

SOURCETech Cabal
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Eric writes on business, govt policy and enterprise tech.