Konnect Africa, the Eutelsat-owned satellite broadband service provider, has unveiled SmartWIFI, a new hotspot service.The new service leverages Konnect Africa’s satellite broadband network to enable sales outlets (retailers, hospitalities, gas stations, etc.) as well as healthcare centres or schools to become a connectivity point and digital gateway to opportunity for the surrounding population.
Users will be able to access the internet from a distance of several hundred metres around the hotspot. Access can be extended to several kilometres through off-the-shelf Wi-Fi repeaters.
(TOP: Konnect Africa’s coverage map showing the targeted countries, which include Kenya).
Users can access the SmartWIFI service through vouchers or mobile payment schemes. In addition, SmartWIFI comes with a unique local data storage system, enabling users in remote areas to access smart digital content free of data charges, including online courses and education programmes, sports and entertainment. Mobile and computer applications will also be available to help support daily business activities.
Konnect Africa CEO, Laurent Grimaldi commented: “This new Wi-Fi hotspot solution is designed specifically to address the needs of the majority of the African population that lives in rural areas, where there is a need to reduce the digital divide. In leveraging the ubiquity of our satellite network and locally operated hotspots we will foster more productive uses of digital technology to make everyday tasks easier for individuals and allow businesses in more remote areas to expand their footprint – let’s just think of weather apps to assist farmers, mobile phones to display bus timetables, or better information on market days that can help small producers enlarge their catchment area”.
SmartWIFI will be available in all countries covered by Konnect Africa’s satellite broadband service. The new hotspot service will be deployed in partnership with local internet service providers and telecom operators in strategic areas across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Set up by Eutelsat in 2015, Konnect Africa aims to be a major player in providing state-of-the-art satellite broadband solutions to telecom operators and internet service providers throughout the African continent. Konnect Africa’s ambition is to boost social and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa by providing affordable broadband connectivity everywhere thus reducing the digital divide. With the aim of “taking broadband further”, Konnect Africa launched commercial services in June 2017 and is developing partnerships in nine African countries.