Liquid, Western Cape govt partner to boost public Wi-Fi access

Liquid Telecom SA has partnered with The Western Cape Government (WCG) to increase the number of free public Wi-Fi hotspots across the region from 178 to 1,600.

In a statement the telecommunications services provider said that 6.6 million residents "will soon have greater access to public Wi-Fi located at government buildings across the Western Cape."

According to Liquid Telecom this project forms part of a R3 billion plan to provide broadband connectivity to WCG offices, libraries, schools and clinics.

The newly expanded public Wi-Fi network will be available across all municipalities and provide 3GB of data per device per month "at speeds five times faster than the current service."

"Each of the public Wi-Fi hotspots will allow users with Wi-Fi enabled devices including mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers to connect to the Wi-Fi hotspot without any logins or passwords. The hotspots will be installed over the next 3 years, and the project will run for five years in total."

"At present the service offers 178 active hotspots at government buildings across 12 municipalities in the province. It provides 250MB of free data per device per month, and just over 910,000 devices have connected to the network since it was launched in March 2016."

Reshaad Sha, CEO Liquid Telecom SA, said, "Today's announcement is aligned with Liquid Telecom's vision to 'Build Africa's Digital Future' providing individuals and communities with high speed internet across cities, towns and villages'. Our partnership with the Western Cape Government is central to this vision."

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said, "We have reached our target of full broadband coverage with a total of 1 875 sites, including over 1 200 schools; over 200 libraries and approximately 400 other public facilities. The WCED has invested R253 million towards e-learning in the 2018/ 2019 financial year and over R1.2 billion over a five-year period. During this term, we have refreshed 700 computer labs, delivered over 32 000 devices, created an online portal with 11 000 resources, trained teachers to a point where 70% are improving at eTeaching, and we will invest R1.2 billion into eLearning over the next 5 years."

In mid-November 2018 Liquid Telecom announced a partnership with global mobile satellite communications company Kymeta to deliver enhanced satellite mobile connectivity across Africa.

"This new strategic partnership between Liquid Telecom and Kymeta marks a disruptive moment in the evolution of very small aperture terminal (VSAT) services for the African continent," says Scott Mumford, group managing executive of satellite and VSAT at Liquid Telecom.

"By pairing the latest Liquid VSAT Internet platform with Kymeta's satellite terminals, the companies are bringing unrivalled connection quality, speed and availability to people on the move and in places that have never been connected before."

Liquid Telecom serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.