Google, on Thursday, announced that Google Station, a platform for providing free, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in public places, is launching in Abuja. In partnership with Backbone Connectivity Network, an integrated communications and data management company, Google is launching Google Station at three sites today – the Wuse Market, Enab Plaza and Banex Plaza – to kick off the rollout across the northern part of Nigeria.
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.
Speaking at the launch event, Google Nigeria’s Head of Partnerships for Next Billion Users, Saidu Abdullahi said, “Google Station is part of our vision to provide fast and affordable Wi-Fi to our next billion users. Now, users in Abuja, will experience high-quality connections to Internet in airports, malls and universities. 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.”
Google announced in May that it aims to rollout 200 Google Station locations to millions of people in Nigeria. Google Station launched at 11 high traffic venues in Lagos in July, and Abuja is the second city where it is being rolled out.
“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,” Ehimuan-Chiazor said.