Vodafone Ghana has unveiled the “ExpressWifi by Facebook” Service to give the public especially underserved digital revolution areas, an opportunity to access fast internet connectivity at affordable rates.
Express Wi-fi is a programme that enables retail entrepreneurs to offer fast and affordable Wi-fi services at hotspots spread across communities and it is deployed in a number of countries, including India, Kenya, Indonesia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The Service was unveiled at Jamestown, a suburb of Accra to give members of the community an opportunity to experience and benefit from the product.
The service offers 100 megabytes of data for GHC1.00 and one gigabyte of data over a period of seven days for GHC5.00. It is opened to users of all other networks, without necessarily switching to the Vodafone network.
Ms Yolanda Cuba, the Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana said, it was necessary for everyone no matter his or her background to connect to industrial and digital revolution especially in the current world where technology dominates.
She said according to the National Communications Authority, despite a data penetration rate of 80.3 per cent, large portions of underprivileged Ghanaians were still unable to afford easy access to data due to the price.
She noted that, the partnership between the two progressive technology companies was set to transform an industry that was already making a concerted effort to establish data dominance in the sub-region, adding that, Vodafone had already deployed hotspots within Accra for the initiative at areas including Nima, Maamobi, Pigfarm, Jamestown and Abossey Okai.
“Affordability remains an issue for users in the underserved regions of the country, despite their high demand for data, and this initiative is the answer,” she said.
Explaining how to access the service, Ms Cuba said: “You just switch on your phone’s Wi-Fi, it doesn’t matter the network you are on. You dial your mobile number, you get a code and you are on Express Wi-Fi. That’s how simple it is”.
Ms Cuba said: “We are here to give you express internet at a free and cheap cost for you to connect to your loved ones. It is our commitment to say we want everyone in Ghana to be connected to the digital world.”
Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, the Deputy Minister of Communications commended Vodafone Ghana for the initiative, saying that, the Express Wifi product, considering its structure, technology and pricing was a good product that thought of low-income earners.
“We cannot bring fibre here. This Express Wifi product initiated is very affordable, would create vendors and businesses and it is a step in the right direction,” he said.
Mr Odotei urged private sector organisations to support the Government’s dream of digitalising Ghana, and asked them to emulate the step Vodafone had taken.
“When the private sector begins to create something that is very competitive, that tells the confidence they have in the economy and Vodafone has shown that.
“That should tell you that the macro-economic stability that we are building, the private sector is beginning to pick the signal. The best support that any government can provide to the private sector is to bring stability, printability, and ensure that the exchange rate is stable,” he added.