Black-owned management consulting and ICT services company Ulwembu Business Services has confirmed its support for the South African City of Tshwane and its intention to upgrade and extend the TshWi-Fi network.
According to information supplied, Tshwane's executive mayor Stevens Mokgalapa said the focus would be on empowering the community's youth and SMMEs.
"Currently, the City has increased the number of Wi-Fi hotspots to 1,051, with an additional five already installed in Olievenhoutbosch alone, which takes the total within this ward up to 15. Over the next three years, we will roll out another 1,000 sites in order to ensure coverage for all within the City.
"This access to connectivity is critical for the Tshwane community to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, providing our next generation with access to information, a critical factor in upliftment within the City."
Officials said the City will double the free access data allocation from 500MB to 1GB per device per day.
According to a statement released, the improved TshWi-Fi offering incorporates the services of 35 identified local, Tshwane-based suppliers specialising in cabling and field network services for support and maintenance, and implementation of the Wi-Fi network, as well as a youth development programme.
This will include mentorship of 30 youth ambassadors over the first year of the project.
"We would like to see these programmes grow to include additional supporting SMMEs and youth ambassadors over the next three years," added Mokgalapa.
Ulwembu Business Services managing director, Sibusiso Kunene said, "In our capacity as the public Wi-Fi service provider to the City of Tshwane, we are committed to helping businesses and communities move forward by supplying, provisioning, implementing and maintaining the right solutions effectively and affordably so that they can influence, change and improve the lives of the citizens of our country."
The City of Tshwane's recently hosted an official TshWi-Fi activation event to the community of Olievenhoutbosch in Tshwane, which took place at one of the City's new Wi-Fi hotspots situated at a local taxi rank.
In March 2019 Mokgalapa announced the City of Tshwane planned to add 1000 Wi-Fi hotspots, with the first 200 scheduled to come online this financial year.
ITWeb reported that in 2013, under the leadership of former mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, the city partnered with Project Isizwe to introduce the free WiFi service, dubbed Tshwi-Fi, and create Internet hotspots across the city.
According to Mokgalapa, out of the 1 000 planned new Tshwane WiFi sites, 35 were already installed in December 2018, in five of the city's regions.