Facebook offers India cheap Wi-Fi via 20000 hotspots

Image Getty Images

Image Getty Images

The company will make the service available in 700 Indian villages across four states initially - Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. Facebook has partnered with telecom major Bharti Airtel, which will deploy over 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots over the next few months. The ISPs are AirJaldi in Uttarakhand, LMES in Rajasthan, Tikona in Gujarat, and roll out in Meghalaya is being carried out by a company called Shaildhar.

The service is now live in five countries-India, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia. Then go ahead to an Express Wi-Fi hotspot where you'll be able to access the internet and only after signing up or registering yourself, you'll be able to log in and begin using the internet.

Express Wi-Fi is created to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-priced, high bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content. "They also help Indians connect to the internet easily and for an affordable rate", Facebook's regional head of Connectivity Solution said.

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"Facebook launched the Free Basics programme in 2015 in partnership with Reliance Communications and allowed access to selected websites". The company also insists on the fact that the program will bring economic empowerment to the local service providers who can earn a steady income by reselling internet to their neighbors, with Facebook providing the software for doing that. It is basically a service which offers internet facility through public hotspots to users in rural parts of India.

In a successful and lauded initiative, Google has been providing free WiFi access in the railway stations across India in partnership with Airtel.

Also for both companies, it is increasingly becoming clear that success in India is crucial for their growth.

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While the Galaxy S8 is powered by a 3000 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S8 Plus comes with a larger 3500 mAh battery. Both phones are water-resistant and allow for biometric authentication with fingerprint and iris scanners.

"Our strategy has always been that these programs work if they are financially sustainable for the partners we work with", James Beldock, Facebook's product manager for Express Wi-Fi, told TechCrunch.

He also said that Facebook was working with Airtel to bring 20,000 more hotspots throughout the country. "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", Facebook's Seth added. However, Wi-Fi has limited range and it is hard to connect a wide area using the technology.

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