Off-grid energy firm BBOXX is piloting an internet service for communities in Rwanda.
BBOXX provides affordable solar electricity to off-grid communities in Africa and Asia via its solar home systems coupled with its SMART Solar platform, which brings machine-learning and customer experience optimisation to the electrification of rural Africa.
The well-funded company has been expanding into new markets, with recent launches in Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) adding to its operations in Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and Cameroon, and it is now growing its service offering.
This is beginning with internet services in Rwanda, where BBOXX has created internet connections via Wi-Fi Hotspots in a joint venture with Axiom Networks. So far, ten fixed hotspots, powered by BBOXX solar systems, have been installed for the pilot.
These hotspots receive the internet through radio waves, allowing 10-20 Mbps even in remote areas. Data bundles, together with smartphone financing, make access more affordable for end customers, while local entrepreneurs manage the hotspots and teach customers how to make the most of the internet.
It marks BBOXX's first project aimed at delivering data access to provide valuable services available online, while other utilities offerings - such as water and gas - are likely to follow.
"This latest internet pilot in Rwanda is a key step in delivering our vision to bring a whole range of much-needed utilities to off-grid communities across the developing world.," said Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX.
"The disparity between internet access in the developed and developing world is unacceptable and a huge impediment to economic growth. Our vision for internet usage aligns with our vision for energy access, and they are inextricably linked, as stable data access requires a reliable electricity supply. We want to provide affordable data connectivity to communities left behind by the digital revolution, improving their quality of life."