Ghana Vodafone has launched a new internet service dubbed ‘Express Wi-Fi’ by Facebook, a partnership that will reach out to underserved areas across the West African country.
According to the telco giant, Express Wi-Fi is a programme that helps retail entrepreneurs to access fast and affordable Wi-Fi services at hotspots spread across their communities. The service has been deployed in other countries including India, Kenya, Indonesia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
It also said the move forms part of a strategy to ignite a digital revolution in Ghana, so as to ensure that no one is left behind.
Despite a data penetration rate of 80.3% according to the National Communications Authority (NCA), large portions of underprivileged Ghanaians are still unable to afford easy access to data due to high prices.
Therefore, Vodafone Ghana believes by partnering with Facebook, the two companies can transform and make internet available to all Ghanaians at very affordable prices, from as low as GH¢1 for 100MB and above.
Vodafone has already deployed hotspots within Accra for the initiative – including in areas such as Nima, James Town, Maamobi, Pig Farm and Abossey Okai, with many others to follow.
The technology is available on Android and iOS phones, tablets and laptops.
To use Express Wi-Fi, customers need to connect to any of the available 200 hotspots within Accra without switching SIM cards.
Additionally, customers can also purchase Express Wi-Fi data packs from branded and accredited Vodafone Express Wi-Fi retailers in the targeted communities.
The Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Cuba, speaking at the launch in Accra, said her outfit is poised to lead and partner government in its digitisation agenda through the provision of cheap and reliable Internet services, especially in underserved areas.
“It is certainly a demonstration of our strategy in action. We remain committed to making sure every Ghanaian becomes a part of the data revolution, which currently represents the next stage of growth in this age of technological dominance. Affordability remains an issue for users in the underserved regions of the country, despite their high demand for data; and this initiative is the answer,” she added.