Surf, a Kenyan ISP has hit 850 hotspots delivering high-speed, affordable Internet in Kenya and aims to reach more than 1000 public areas by the end of this year across 20 cities in Kenya with its Wi-Fi hotspot network.
Working with service provider Internet Solutions Kenya and Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi program, Surf’s hotspots cover Kenya’s most populated cities including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret.
Surf works with local entrepreneurs, universities and consumer chains to establish new Wi-Fi hotspots and grow the network rapidly. Customers connect to the hotspots with Wi-Fi enabled devices. Data bundles typically cost one-half to one-third the price of mobile data. In Nairobi, customers can opt to watch video advertisements in exchange for free data.
Speaking at AfricaCom, Mark Summer, CEO, Surf said, “Surf’s mission is to expand Kenyan consumers’ options for Internet access. We’re excited to reach the milestone of 1000 hotspots before the end of 2017. Now everyone can stream more, connect more, learn more, play more and earn more income through doing business online.”
In a country with only 12.5 million broadband subscriptions, the firms are betting on improving the technological and infrastructural environment to boost Internet access to the next million users.
Working with Internet Solutions Kenya allows Surf to focus on optimizing and reducing the cost of the last mile connectivity to consumers rather than having to build a whole network from scratch. Surf says this approach of increasing the utilization of existing infrastructure investments through partnerships with existing service providers is core to its philosophy and encourages future infrastructure investment by its partners.
“The expansion of our fiber optic infrastructure across the country will enable us connect more homes, as well as avail better, higher speeds to our customers”, said Richard Hechle, Managing Director, Internet Solutions Kenya. “Internet Solutions Kenya is a strong proponent of the solutions approach. By working with Surf to deliver quality and affordable bandwidth to middle and low-income users across Kenya, we enable a channel where content such as video traffic is accessible by customers.”
“We are thrilled to see the number of Express Wi-Fi hotspots and users grow through our partnership with Surf and Internet Solutions Kenya,” said Uche Ofodile, Regional Head of Africa, Express Wi-Fi by Facebook. “This launch is a significant step toward accomplishing our shared goal of reducing barriers to connectivity and giving more Kenyans access to fast and affordable internet.”