Nigeria is the African most valuable market in tech industry, because Google understood this need, they have placed Nigeria in their priority to launch its free WiFi network with African most populous nation. Google for sure do have a lot of internet services that are aimed at impacting lives across the world. One of such is the Google Station program; a service which Google runs in collaboration with local partners to provide free WiFi hotspot across publics places in the where individuals can have free access to internet connectivity.
At the tech giant’s event termed “Google for Nigeria”, Google announced the entrance of the Google Station program into Africa for the first time, with Nigeria being the first state to enjoy the privilege. Aimed at solving the slow internet connectivity challenge facing the country, Google aims to expand its reach in the region using the Google Station as entry point.
When Did Google Station Start?
Google started the Google Station Initiative in 2012 and since then, launched it in four countries (India, Thailand, Mexico, and Indonesia). The July 2018 launch made Nigeria the 5th beneficiary of the Google Free WiFi service/internet service.
As a matter of fact, as mentioned earlier, the model of the Google Station program is designed to enable Google partner with (local) internet service providers and software and hardware companies to contribute their massive support towards actualizeping the “free WiFi for all” goal. Most of Google’s partners on a Google Station project includes service providers, telecom network operators, fiber providers, software and hardware companies, digital companies, infrastructure companies, tech hubs, system integrators, large venues, organizations etc.
Google Stations in Nigeria
To bring Free WiFi to major cities in Nigeria such as PortHarcort, Kaduna, Enugu, Abuja and Ibadan, Google will be partnering with a Nigerian-based fiber network provider and service providers, 21st Century Technologies, to provide free WiFi access in 200 locations in 5 cities in the country by 2019.
Nigeria’s Google Station project will for a start, however, kick off in Lagos first in well-populated and crowded public spots like hotels, malls, airports, parks, transport hubs, schools/universities etc. Presently, the Google Station’s free Wi-Fi hotspots are available at the Landmark Centre, The Palms Mall, Ikeja Mall, and Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2) Domestic Airport Terminal.
After successful set-up in Lagos, the Google Station service will be expanded to other locations across five additional Nigerian cities— Port Harcourt, Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu, Ibadan.
How fast is the Google Station?
Asides bringing free WiFi service to help grow the Nigerian youths and as well deepen their knowledge in the area of research and projects , Google prides the Google Station’s hotspots as “fast…and secure” where Kenya has the fastest Google Station in Africa. Fast connectivity is what the internet users want out of any internet network, Google Station’s free WiFi speed of 30 megabits per second (Mbps) — compared to Nigeria’s 1.8Mbps internet speed in the above image— will definitely excite and attract many users across the country.
Will Google Monetize Stations?
Yes, Google will monetize Google Station service through local advertisers. apparently, revenues from those Ads placements will be shared with other technical partners. Google will be sticking some ads in the face of users of the Google Station’s free WiFi through alluring portal login pages.
When You connect your device to the wifi hotspot at a Google Station location (say at MMA2 Airport Terminal). You launch your web browser to visit any of your favorite tech sites knowxup.com instead of taking you straight to knowxup’s homepage, you might be redirected to a page showing some sort of Ad or WiFi terms of usage. Now that’s a captive portal login page and you might be redirected a number of times during usage.
What exactly do you think about the Google Station free WiFi service? Is your city among the above listed beneficiary locations? Have you tried out the Google Station free WiFi? Tell us your experience in the comments. We’d love to know.