Social networking giant Facebook has finally launched its Express Wi-Fi commercially in India after being testing for a long time. Facebook reveals that the Wi-Fi has been testing for this service since 2015 with various Internet service providers and now finally this service is available across the four States in Uttrakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya.
After two years of testing Facebook announced for launching its Express Wi-Fi in partnership with Airtel by launching 20,000 new Express Wi-Fi by Facebook hotspots across the country. After the next few months Services of Facebook in Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya are currently enabled by AirJaldi, Tikona, LMES, and Shaildhar ISPs, respectively.
The Facebook services lets user to avail internet services by logging on to the local Wi-Fi network which is being hosted by local ISPs at the cost of small fee which will definitely help internet situation in India. User have to first register/create an account and then login with username and password and start browsing or use any app on the entire Internet.
According to statistical data reports, there are around 465 million internet users in a population of 1.311 billion. The launch comes after a month when we reported about the secret testing of service in around 100 villages all across the country, in these rural areas users had to come to particular community to access internet service.
Facebook’s express Wi-Fi project is integral part of internet.org mission through which social networking giant is aiming to bring all the internet connectivity across whole world especially in rural area. In order to use this service users have to purchase physical or online vouchers at the cost of Rs.10 -20 per day to Rs. 200 – 300 per month, these services are easily available in nearly 500 brick and mortar stores.
One interesting fact about the whole project launch in India is that the company has maintained a very silent demure about this whole project launch. It is understood that company has decided to keep it secret after the failure of its free basics program which Grant free access to internet in India. But this program is banned by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last year for violating the principles of net neutrality.
The company has the second largest user in India, and therefore company is targeting entry-level phones with this project. India currently has about 166 million Active Facebook Users out of the 450-465 million people currently accessing internet in the country which presents a very promising opportunity for the company with 2 billion worldwide users.
With this program launch Facebook provide a helping hand for all those users who want to access the internet , in that area where internet service is not available yet. To make it simple for rural peoples Facebook is acting as technology enabler with this express Wi-Fi project.
India is not the first country with this service prior to India Facebook has successfully launched its Express Wi-Fi project in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia. India currently has launched 700 hotspots and planning to increase it upto 20,000 in partnership with Airtel.
Munish Seth, Head of Connectivity Solutions, Facebook Asia Pacific, said, ” This Express Wi-Fi is especially designed to complement mobile data offers by providing a high bandwidth and low cost offer for getting access to all online apps, downloading and stream content. By launching this program company said that the Express Wi-Fi partnerships empower local Indian entrepreneurs to start businesses to offer internet access to their town or region. They also help users by helping them to connect to the internet at an affordable price.