Express Wi-Fi by Facebook has finally launched in India – The company has also partnered with telecom firm Bharti Airtel and plans to bring an additional 20,000 hotspots online.
Facebook has officially launched Express Wi-Fi in India. The company stated that it started testing Express Wi-Fi in India in 2015 and began working with internet services providers (ISPs) and is now commercially available through nearly 700 hotspots across the four Indian states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya. At the moment, the connectivity initiative is live in five countries namely India, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia.
Facebook also announced a partnership with Bharti Airtel to launch an additional 20,000 hotspots which is said to be deployed over the next few months.
The company mentioned in an official statement, “Express Wi-Fi is designed to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high-bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content. Our Express Wi-Fi partnerships empower local Indian entrepreneurs to start businesses to offer internet access to their town or region. They also help Indians connect to the internet easily and for an affordable rate.”
Facebook’s goal is to grow the number of Express Wi-Fi hotspots in India rapidly. India has a population of about 1.3 billion people, but according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI’s) Performance Indicator Report, only 390 million people are connected to the internet.
Users can access the Express Wi-Fi network by signing up with an Express Wi-Fi retailer and purchasing a daily, weekly or monthly data pack at a rate set by our partners. They will then be able to connect to the Express Wi-Fi hotspot, register/create an account, login and start browsing or use any app.
Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “We are delighted to be a part of this initiative to provide affordable access to high-speed data to users across India, particularly in the underserved segment. We believe this will help in empowering millions of Indians by bringing them online and contribute to the Government’s Digital India vision.”