Local internet access provider (IAP), Dandemutande yesterday held an event where it announced that it has partnered up with Facebook on its international Express Wi-Fi initiative. The program is a way to increase internet penetration by offering Wi-Fi services to underserved communities at affordable rates
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With Dandemutande on board, Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi will be made available to more people especially those in high-density areas. Dandemutande will be providing the internet infrastructure in a block of flats, for example. This equipment will be installed in a host’s household where everyone within 100 metres will be able to access the web.
In addition, Dandemutande is also looking to place the Wi-Fi Hotspots at restaurants, shopping complexes, schools, universities and hotels across Zimbabwe. At the launch event yesterday, Dandemutande’s CEO Never Ncube said that Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi hotspot was already working at Joina City and at 200 other locations in Zimbabwe. The goal for the program, this year, is to cover 600 spots.
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Dandemutande and Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi will be working on voucher or bundles system. The prices are pretty affordable compared to mobile network operators’ private Wi-Fi bundles.
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On top of this, the hotspots will also feature a 30-minute free access period. If you remember a while back ZOL discontinued its free Wi-Fi offering at its ZOL Spots. It was quite the blow for a lot of Zimbabweans who were only able to access high-speed internet through that free offer. It’s good to see that Dandemutande is bringing the 30-min grace period to its hotspots especially with how internet services have been in high demand during the pandemic.
The program also presents a number of unique opportunities for local businesses. According to Dandemutande CEO, Never Ncube, the Facebook Express Wi-Fi hotspots will allow businesses to place advertisements.
Companies will also be able to sponsor location hotspots and have their business name attached to the login page. Furthermore, businesses can become resellers of the bundles, in the same way, that NetOne‘s *519# offers a way for individuals and entities to purchase bulk airtime for re-sale.
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