Google Station, a platform for providing free, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in public places, was launched in Abuja on Thursday.
Google Nigeria’s Head of Partnerships for Next Billion Users, Saidu Abdullahi, said that the launch was in partnership with Backbone Connectivity Network, an integrated communications and data management company.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Google launched Google Station at three sites, including Wuse Market, Enab Plaza and Banex Plaza.
This is to kick off the rollout across the northern part of the country.
He said: “Google Station is a simple set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots, and aims to bring more people fast and reliable Wi-Fi in more places where they spend time, like bus stations, shopping malls, airports and public transit stations.
“WiFi is available free of charge and partners leverage Google Station’s business model, which enables venues, system integrators, businesses and ISPs with access to fiber to setup, maintain and monetise their Wi-Fi networks.
“Today, many venues with public Wi-Fi are required to stitch a custom solution together for each separate location.
“This makes public Wi-Fi networks hard to use: the log-in process is one-off and cumbersome, the connections are slow, and many networks can be less secure.
“Venues have trouble administering a large network, providing high quality service to users, and easily monetising its usage.
“To help solve this, Google Station offers a platform and works with ISPs, venues and hardware partners to reduce the cost of deployment, operations and ongoing support.”
Abdullahi added that Google Station was part of Google’s vision to provide fast and affordable Wi-Fi to its next billion users.
He said that users in Abuja can now experience high-quality connections to Internet in airports, malls and universities.
He said: “We want to expand to new high-traffic venues to help more people get online, and we’re looking for strategic and forward thinking partners to work with on this effort.”
NAN reports that Google announced in May that it was aiming at rolling-out 200 Google Station locations to millions of people in Nigeria.
The Google Station was launched at 11 high traffic venues in Lagos in July. Abuja is the second city where it was rolled out.
He said: “Google is committed to Nigeria. Our commitment to provide free high speed Wifi to millions of Nigerians through Google Station is real, and we are happy to be bringing this service to people in Abuja.”