Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi initiative launched in Uganda
Facebook has partnered with Ugandan telecommunications services provider Roke Telkom to introduce its Express Wi-Fi initiative in the East African country.
A new internet service called Roke Express Wi-Fi is expected to deliver affordable, high-speed internet connection.
Uganda is the eighth African country in which Facebook has established local partnerships to build more internet access points to ensure developing markets can easily set up and manage hotspots.
Roger Sekaziga, CEO of Roke Telkom welcomed the partnership with Facebook and aligned his company’s vision with that of Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi initiative.
“We thank Facebook for choosing us as the ideal partner for the Express Wi-Fi initiative in Uganda. Your choice is a great mark of confidence in our services and brand and we commit to ensure that through this partnership, millions of Ugandans gain access to affordable internet across the country,” said Sekaziga.
Sekaziga described Roke Express Wi-Fi as a more scalable service network that will enable the company to increase the number of internet access points, improve deployment scale and enhance the efficiency to over 600 Rokespots.
In a statement, Roke said it is now able to offer a more diversified set of services including promotional offers, while charging for some, which will ultimately improve the company’s customer’s experiences and position Roke Telkom as a front runner in internet service provision.
According to the Facebook-commissioned Inclusive Internet Index, South Africa is the highest ranked African country at 33 out of 100 international countries, followed by Morocco (59th), Kenya (65th) and Egypt (66th). Uganda ranked 83rd globally and 11th out of 23 ranked African countries.
“One area of progress is the readiness pillar, where the East African country ranks 26th globally, thanks to its digital policy development and relatively high scores in the trust and safety indicators. Uganda is held back by several weaknesses, however, particularly in availability and affordability,” the report stated.
According to the Uganda Communications Commission, only 23% of the country’s population are internet users. Moreover, a Forbes 2020 report also indicated that there was a 70% increase in internet usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the Roke Express Wi-Fi, the local partner said it would enhance its understanding of the market and tailor products accordingly.