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Explainers - News around Africa - July 27, 2018

Google launches free Wifi service in Nigeria

Google has launched the Google Station, a free high-speed Wi-Fi hotspot service in Nigeria.

As it has done in four other countries like India, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand where the service has been successful, Google will partner with local service providers for infrastructure and locations while it offers a cloud-based platform and devices to provide and manage hot-spots.

Apart from Lagos, the stations are expected to commence with 200 locations in five additional Nigerian cities in Port Harcourt, Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu, and Ibadan before the end of 2019.

“Google Station will be rolling out in 200 locations in five cities across Nigeria by the end of 2019, bringing Wi-Fi to millions of people,” Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, Google Nigeria country director, said.

“Sites include markets, transport hubs, shopping malls, universities, and more. Nigeria is the fifth country to get Google Station, after India, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico.”

These are the 6 places to get Google Station free WiFi in Lagos

  1. Ikeja City Mall
  2. Computer Village
  3. Domestic Airport
  4. The Palms, Lekki
  5. Landmark Event Center
  6. Lemmings
  7. Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA2)
  8. University of Lagos

Google Station is not the Google’s first internet access-focused initiative in Africa. In Ghana and Uganda, it has launched Project Link through which it builds fiber-optic networks to help local internet service providers and mobile operators provide faster broadband.

The company is also in talks with telecom operators in Kenya to launch Project Loon, an ambitious plan to beam internet to users using solar-powered high-altitude balloons. Facebook also has a history of internet access projects in Africa, including Express WiFi and Free Basics.

While these projects are couched as moves to help more Africans come online, they are also plays to increase revenue. Increased internet access means more Africans will spend time online, likely using tech companies’ products and thus driving revenues through advertising and paid services.

In 2017, during his first visit to Nigeria, Google CEO Sundar Pichai launched YouTube Go, an “offline first” version of the popular video sharing platform for users with slow internet connections.


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