Liquid Telecom partners Nakuru County Government in providing free public and fast high capacity Wifi. The company has devoted 400,000 million dollars in the project. More is set to be invested in the course of network optimization exercises across 2015. The success of the Nakuru Wifi project is the company strategy of developing viable business models and offering sustainable of free WiFi in Africa.
|Tshwane south Africa|
It is the first of its kind in Kenya and will see Nakuru city joining, Kigali in Rwanda and Tshwane in South Africa as first major urban centers in Africa to enjoy connection to free public and high capacity Wifi.
Nakuru residents are now more digitalized as Liquid Telecom, the leading Africa’s data; voice and IP provider, partners Nakuru County Government to connect them with rest of world, launching a high capacity free Wifi in their city. They will start enjoying a free, fast and reliable public street Wifi connection. This enables rapid access to information vital for economic and educational advancement as digital age takes roots in the country.
“Liquid Telecom has put in place outdoor Wifi nodes, which are designed to carry huge capacities with the ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions to guarantee maximum and uninterrupted speeds while surfing. With the built-in meshing technology incorporated in the network systems, users in Nakuru will not experience service interruptions when moving from one point to another within the areas covered in the town,” said Ben Roberts, Liquid Telecom Kenya CEO.
Public-private partnership between the Nakuru County Government and Liquid Telecom Kenya has witnessed the design and launch of a high capacity Wifi network that covers a 10-kilometre radius. It begins from the central business district (CBD) with a capacity of 1 Gigabyte per second (Gbps). The network is connected to a 200 Megabytes per second (Mbps) pool that is upgradable to 1Gbps based on demand. Liquid Telecom will monitor and upgrade as the need arises.
Access to Internet has widely been tipped to be the key to making a difference in Kenya’s economic performance. It is creating more than 1,000 jobs a month in the business outsourcing sector since 2013 according to the ICT Authority of Kenya.
Efforts driven by public-private partnerships is expected to raise the country’s Internet access to higher levels from the current 52.3 per cent, as reported by the Communications Authority of Kenya.
It is important to note that the design of the Wifi network has ensured adequate capacity and all-in-one connectivity through the use of equipment that delivers on user experience.
Liquid Telecom Kenya has network built around the strategic points accessed by the highest proportions of the town’s population. 51 nodes installed, the network serves users in the streets and open public areas like stadia and parks.
The free Wifi project first phase of covers the county’s the county headquarters, Kenyatta Street, Marikiti Market, the main bus terminus at the CBD, Afraha Stadium, and the Westside Mall.
The second phase is expected to cover more streets using street poles and other public infrastructure.
JKUAT Nakuru Campus and Mount Kenya University are Academic institutions in Nakuru that hope to benefit from this connection. Student from the two institution of high learning in county will enjoy free Wifi access. It is expected to increase the use of e-learning, which is believed to increases information retention among students by up to 60 per cent, according to the Research Institute of America.
“With the uptake of e-learning by various colleges and universities in Kenya and the wealth of knowledge available online, Internet access in academic institutions has fast become a defining factor in the quality of education that students receive,” said Ben Roberts.
Neighboring towns expected to benefit from connection to the free Wifi includes Naivasha and Gilgil towns, as well as Egerton University in Njoro, which is to be connected later in this year.
Free Wifi connection will provide users with Wifi enabled devices open access to the Internet except of unlawful activities such as streaming or downloading of offensive content that violates copyrights.
Ben Roberts says Free Wifi is a facility that is gaining traction globally that he believes it in right Africa, should be at this same frontier of technology and business model
He added that it is vital in achieving Liquid Telecom’s vision of Internet access for all of Africa, which we see as a core driver of economic takeoff and success for the continent.