Facebook today finally announced the commercial launch of its Express Wi-Fi in India. Express Wi-Fi is one of Facebook’s many connectivity initiatives under its internet.org program where they provide affordable internet service. The social networking company has been testing this service in the country since last year and finally it’s here.
Facebook has already launched 700 hot-spots across states like Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya and soon will be expanding the number of hotspots to new cities.
The internet services providers (ISPs) involved in the project are AirJaldi in Uttarakhand, LMES in Rajasthan, Tikona in Gujarat and Shaildhar in Meghalaya. Facebook has also partnered with Indian telecom operator, Bharti Airtel to launch an additional 20,000 hotspots in India. Facebook has been working with several internet services providers and over 500 local entrepreneur retailers for Express WiFi launch. Express WiFi is already providing its service in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia.
Express Wi-Fi is basically aimed to help Indians to connect to the internet easily and at an affordable price. Users need to sign up with an Express Wi-Fi retailer and buy a daily, weekly or monthly data pack as their convenience at a rate set by the partners. After signing users can easily connect to the Express Wi-Fi hotspot, register or create a new account, login and start browsing the internet
Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “We are delighted to be a part of this initiative to provide affordable access to high speed data to users across India, particularly in the underserved segment. We believe this will help in empowering millions of Indians by bringing them online and contribute to the Government’s Digital India vision.”
Munish Seth, Head of Connectivity Solutions, Facebook Asia Pacific, said, “Express Wi-Fi is designed to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content. Our Express Wi-Fi partnerships empower local Indian entrepreneurs to start businesses to offer internet access to their town or region. They also help Indians connect to the internet easily and for an affordable rate.“