Facebook is testing a new Wi-Fi Service in India
Social networking giant Facebook is back again with its aim to provide the Internet to masses. This time, it is testing a new kind of Wi-Fi service in India dubbed as ‘Express WiFi’.
Under this new service, Facebook is offering a software to local ISPs and entrepreneurs sell and provide internet service in rural areas. This Internet can be accessed using public WI-Fi hotspots. It is worth to note that the wi-fi hotspots will provide low-cost but reliable Internet.
As per recent reports, this Wi-Fi service has already completed its trial period in the country with about 12 rural Wi-Fi hotspots.
“We are testing Express WiFi program in India that allows customers to purchase fast, reliable and affordable data packages from their local ISP to access the Internet via local hotspots,” a Facebook India spokesperson said.
Facebook’s this Wi-Fi service will see competition from Indian government’s already available Wi-Fi services in many places. Now, local governments have started offering wi-fi hotspots at major locations in urban India with plans to set it in rural areas too.
Google already has the contract to set up Wi-Fi at major Railway Stations in India under Project Nilgiri. Google already confirmed that over 2 million Indians have enjoyed its free Wi-Fi service across 19 Railway stations. So, Facebook already got competitors in the market.
Initially, Facebook came with Internet.org. It was relaunched as Free Basics. But India never accepted this plan due to net neutrality issues. Now, Facebook is trying to offer affordable but open Internet in place of free but close Internet. If things go right, Facebook can be successful in expanding its reach in India.
With over 142 million Facebook users, India is Facebook’s second largest market. Considering the population, India has still the majority of the population not active on the Internet. If they come on the Internet, Facebook will surely see a boost in user base. Even if Facebook talks in an emotional way and releases emotional advertisements, there is no charity in this. Yes, people will get the benefit if they are on the Internet. The Internet can open doors to several opportunities, but they will be a part of Facebook and company will count them in next earning calls.
What do you think about this new Wi-Fi service? Let us know your views in comments.