Google this week announced the launch of Google Station in Cape Town, aiming to bring fast, free and open Wi-Fi to more people. This simple set of tools from the company enables internet service providers and venues to roll-out free WiFi hotspots in places where people spend a lot of time, like transit stations, markets, universities and malls.
Google Station comes to South Africa in partnership with Think WiFi, rolling out at the Cape Flats area where connectivity barriers like reliability are highest in places like hospitals, train stations and markets in the city.
“Think WiFi are passionate about providing fast, free, reliable, uncapped WiFi in underserved communities- giving people access to more on-line resources and more opportunities. Through our partnership, Think WiFi and Google will provide unlimited WiFi access to communities in townships, public areas, universities, transportation hubs and shopping malls,
laying the foundations for broad-based, inclusive participation in the benefits industry 4.0 brings, “ says Janine Rebelo, Think WiFi CEO.
Nitin Gajria, regional director for Google Africa said, “Google Station brings you free, fast and open Wi-Fi that will enable you to check your email, send messages to family and friends, and also update all your apps and stream a high-definition video without waiting. It helps you stay productive while on the go, allowing you to go online and do what’s relevant or important to
you. This is our commitment to giving better access to people in South Africa .”
Google Station makes it easy for venues, ISPs, and system integrators with access to fiber to set up, maintain and monetise their WiFi networks. Currently, many venues with public WiFi are required to stitch a custom solution together for each separate location. This makes public WiFi networks hard to use: the log-ins are one-off and cumbersome, and connections are
slow and can be less secure.
Venues have trouble administering a large network, providing high quality of service to users, and easily monetising usage. To help solve this, Google Station offers a platform, in partnership with hardware OEMs and ISPs, that reduces the cost of deployment, operations, and ongoing support.
Currently, there are about 5000 stations providing high-quality Internet to millions of people each month in eight other countries — Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. In South Africa, Google Station will reach people at high foot traffic areas in Cape Flats.
For more information on Google Station, visit station.google.com.