10:47 07 April 2017
Facebook is partnering with international wireless carriers to add WiFi hotspots in Africa in a bid to further boost its reach outside of developed countries. Earlier this year, the giant social media network has already announced the construction of 770 kilometers fiber-optic cables in Uganda alongside Bharti Airtel Ltd. The move has been brought about by the growing number of users in the region.
According to Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing, the US social network’s members have increased by 42per cent since it opened its African office in 2015.
The rollout of WiFi and free Internet products in Nigeria and Kenya will be done via partnership with Emirates Telecommunications Group Co., Surf of Kenya and Coollink.ng of Nigeria.
Speaking at Facebook’s larger office in Johannesburg, Everson said: “There is no magic bullet to provide the Internet to people on the continent. We are using everything available to us, including rolling out express wifi, building fiber, and testing our Aquila project,”
He added: “People are sensitive to data prices on the continent. Infrastructure is expensive and that is why we are looking for partners. We are partnering with telecommunications infrastructure projects, and, as a result, bring down the price of data.”