Google and Wananchi launch Wi-Fi product in Kenya with Aptilo Networks

Wananchi Group, in collaboration with Google and wireless data service management company Aptilo Networks, have announced the launch of Wazi Wi-Fi, a high-speed wireless broadband network in Nairobi, Kenya.


This bolsters the company’s efforts to explore business models that can sustain high speeds and low cost Wi-Fi in emerging markets.

The network delivers affordable, high-speed internet access at Nairobi’s Junction Shopping Mall area. The service is free for the first ten minutes of use per day on each device. Users can then purchase a single day pass for Shs.50 per device and Shs.500 for one month per device.


Customers can pay for the service online using credit cards or local mobile money solutions including M-PESA, Airtel Money and PesaPal.


“We are having discussions with local businesses to explore expansion plans. We see big opportunities in using WiFi technology for mobile data offloading and providing high speed unmetered access away from home,” said Richard Bell, CEO, Wananchi Group.


The African region has always been ahead with mobile data services, and the rapid uptake of newer affordable smartphones and tablets keeps driving up the demand for data capacity on the move,” Bell added.

Wazi WiFi utilises the Aptilo Service Management Platform for service management and policy control. The platform facilitates scalable service delivery, administration and monitoring. Wazi Wi-Fi is being delivered via Aptilo Cloud Services, a hosted solution that meets rapid time to market and time to revenue objectives.


“The internet is a powerful source of information. Wazi Wi-Fi is part of our broader goal in Africa; to get more users online, to reduce internet access barriers and to help develop a vibrant internet environment,” said Euan Guttridge, Technical Program Manager, Emerging Markets, Google Sub Saharan Africa.


Recently, News Corp.’s Star India network has entered into an alliance with Kenya-based Wananchi Group’s multiple distribution platform Zuku to offer four channels targetting the South Asian diaspora in East Africa.


Zuku’s one-year agreement with Star India includes cable and direct-to-home (DTH) distribution for four channels including Hindi entertainment outlets Star Plus, Star One along with Bollywood movie channel Star Gold and Star News. The Star channels will first bow in Kenya expanding later this year to Uganda, Tanzania and other territories under Wananchi’s footprint.

By Team
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