Facebook Launches Low Cost Express Wi-Fi Internet in Kenya

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Social Media giant Facebook has partnered with Kenyan Internet Service provider, Surf to launch Express Wi-Fi, a low cost internet solution that will allow subscribers to access affordable data, with a 40 megabyte daily data bundle going for just KES 10 (roughly 350 UGX).

The announcement was made on Wednesday March 29th at an event held at Ongata Rongai (Tuskys parking near Japem cafe), in Nairobi.

Facebook has further rolled out over 100 Wi-Fi hotspots in the greater Nairobi area – a rollout that was executed in conjunction with Internet Solutions, formerly Access Kenya.

Using any WiFi enabled device, subscribers can access Express Wi-Fi within 250 metres of the community hotspots.

The service is being piloted in the greater Nairobi area, but it is already raising concerns about renewed price wars in the telecommunications sector with speculation that the Surf-Facebook partnership could reduce the market share for Kenya’s mainstream telecos.

Surf will sell a daily 40MBs data bundle at KES 10 (roughly 350 UGX), a price that will beat most internet service providers in Kenya.

The launch comes nearly a month after the service was switched on in in Ong’ata Rongai, Mlolongo, Limuru, Kitengela, Kiambu and a few other locations on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Kenya is the third country in Africa – and fourth in the world – to roll out Express Wi-Fi, after Nigeria and Uganda.

The low-cost internet service was piloted in India in 2016, after Internet.org’s primary initiative Free Basics, which was launched in 2015, came under fire for practices were deemed “restrictive” by a section of India’s government as it offered access to select applications and websites.