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Friday, Nov 15th

Facebook partners Kenyan SP to launch Express Wi-Fi

Facebook partners Kenyan SP to launch Express Wi-Fi

Facebook has partnered Kenyan internet service provider Surf to launch its Express Wi-Fi service, which will offer businesses in a variety of towns and cities access to a fast, affordable public Wi-Fi hotspot service.

Surf has already rolled out more than 100 Express Wi-Fi hotspots in several communities in the greater metropolitan area of Nairobi, and will this week launch the service in Kisumu and Mombasa.

The hotspots are currently focused in areas where people gather for work, transit or entertainment, such as markets, public transport stages and parks. Anyone with a Wi-Fi capable device can use Express Wi-Fi without switching SIM cards or having a data plan, as long as they can receive a one-time SMS on this or any other device.

Surf is working with local entrepreneurs to host and sell the Express Wi-Fi service, and offering an introductory promotion where every new customer gets 100MBs every day for 10 days.

Anyone connected to an Express Wi-Fi hotspot can access Facebook Flex and FreeBasics, a collection of websites including content such as news, employment, health, education and local information, for free.

"Surf's mission is to expand the Kenyan consumers' options for internet access by offering fast, radically affordable internet services where they live, work and play. We're excited to rollout Express Wi-Fi widely to Kenyan consumers," said Mark Summer, CEO of Surf.

"We are honoured to be working with Facebook, who powers Express Wi-Fi, and Internet Solutions, formerly Access Kenya, who is our service provider partner enabling us to expand rapidly throughout the country."

This initiative supports Kenya's broader commitment to achieve universal internet access and provide better service to those already connected.

"Facebook's goal is to connect people and enable our partners to build sustainable businesses. Express Wi-Fi empowers local entrepreneurs with the tools and technology to start a business to offer internet access to their town or region, while helping their customers connect easily and for an affordable rate," said Uche Ofodile, regional head of Africa for Express Wi-Fi by Facebook.

"In Kenya, we are excited to be partnering with Surf and we are excited to share that the service is already commercially available with more than 100 hotspots across the greater Nairobi metropolitan area."

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