Google Launches Free Wi-Fi Hotspot Service In Nigeria


Internet giant Google on Thursday launched its free Wi-FI hotspots in Nigeria as part of its effort to increase its presence on the continent.



Launched in Nigeria's second most populous state, Lagos, the Alphabet owned Inc. has partnered with Nigerian fibre cable network provider 21st Century to provide its free Wi-Fi service, Google Station.

"We are rolling out the service in Lagos today but the plan is to quickly expand to other locations," Google's vice president for product management, Anjali Joshi, told Reuters in Lagos.

The Alphabet company said that it aimed at collaborating with more Internet service providers to reach millions of people in 200 public spaces, across five cities by the end of 2019.

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Though Google did not disclose the amount invested in Nigeria, the company said that it would generate cash from the service by placing Google adverts in the login portal.

The company said it said it planned to share revenue with its partners to help them maintain and deploy Wi-Fi service but did not disclose the expected advertising split.


Africa is experiencing a heavy population growth as heavy mobile adoption and falling data cost has made it an attractive ground for investors.

According to a 2016 World Bank Data report, Internet penetration is relatively low in Nigeria with some 25.7% of the population making use of the Internet that year. The general cause for this could be either because the broadband services are unreliable or unaffordable to many of its 190 million population.

The launch of Google Station makes Nigeria the fifth country to have the service after similar service have been launched in India, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.

Google Station service is aimed at countries whose population are rapidly growing. The United Nations estimates that Nigeria will be the third world most populous country after China and India by, 2050.

"A lot of people who found data to be too expensive for them to use, are using it," said Toshi. "In India, We have tens of millions of users, and close to a million in Mexico."

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