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Tech firm eyes Internet users with public Wi-Fi

Residents browse the Internet at a free Wi-Fi hotspot  in Nakuru.  PHOTO | suleiman mbatia | NMG
Residents browse the Internet at a free Wi-Fi hotspot in Nakuru. PHOTO | suleiman mbatia | NMG 

Satellite Internet solutions provider Konnect Africa has unveiled its new broadband hotspots dubbed SmartWiFi in Kenya, taking on Facebook’s Express Wifi.

The new service will be rolled out in retail centres and facilities such schools and hospitals and give the surrounding community access to the Internet from a “distance of several hundred metres around the hotspot”.

The Internet access would be extended for wider reach using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi repeaters, the firm said.

The Wi-Fi users would be required to buy vouchers or use mobile money payments to access various Internet packages.

SmartWiFi would be installed in urban and rural areas underserved by terrestrial networks.

Satellite-based Internet, unlike mobile wireless or fibre technologies, is not dependent on terrestrial infrastructure and is capable of providing connectivity in the remote areas.

“This new Wi-Fi hotspot solution is designed specifically to address the needs of the majority of the African population that lives in rural areas, where there is a need to reduce the digital divide,” said Konnect Africa CEO Laurent Grimaldi.

“In leveraging the ubiquity of our satellite network and locally operated hotspots we will foster more productive uses of digital technology to make everyday tasks.”

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