Express Wi-Fi is part of Facebook’s global initiative to spread internet connectivity. The initiative is now entering India and it had started testing back in 2015 and Facebook had worked with several Internet service providers and over 500 local entrepreneur-retailers.
The Express Wi-Fi is currently launched through about 700 Wi-Fi hotspots and the initial launch is done in four Indian states – Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya. And before India, the same initiative from Facebook was live in four other countries – Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Indonesia.
While the initial 700 hotspots are installed by Facebook, there is now a partnership with Bharti Airtel and with that, both plan to launch about 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots under the Express Wi-Fi plan to help more people get connected with affordable pricing. It will be rolling out in the coming months, according to Facebook.
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.”
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.
One can access the Internet through the Express Wi-Fi by signing up with an Express Wi-Fi retailer and purchasing a daily, weekly or monthly data pack at a rate set by the partners who Facebook has dealt with. They will then be able to connect to the Express Wi-Fi hotspot, register/create an account, login and start browsing or use any app on the entire internet.
The ISPs with whom Facebook has dealt to bring about the initial phase of Express Wi-Fi are ISPs AirJaldi in Uttarakhand, LMES in Rajasthan, Tikona in Gujarat, and soon with Shaildhar in Meghalaya.