Facebook intros WiFi hotspot app - Mobile World Live

Facebook intros WiFi hotspot app

16 MAR 2018

Facebook launched an Android app called Express Wi-Fi which lets users buy data packs and find hotspots, TechCrunch reported.

Express Wi-Fi gives “people another simple and secure way to access fast, affordable internet through their local Express Wi-Fi hotspots,” the company confirmed.

The app is part of a programme, currently in five developing countries, where local businesses can run Wi-Fi hotspots giving people access to high speed bandwidth.

Previously, users had to find a mobile website or download an app from a telecoms company and change their phone’s settings to access the service, and there was no way to look up where hotspots were located.

The new app, available on the Google Play Store, is live in Indonesia and Kenya and partners with D-Net and Surf respectively.

As TechCrunch’s report points out, the move shows Facebook is trying to attract users in the developing world to its social media platform, for which they need easy and quick internet access.

Unlike Facebook’s zero-rating Free Basics programme, which was crticised for offering users access to limited internet services, Express Wi-Fi offers unrestricted access.

The social media giant is also working on Aquila solar drones and satellites which can connect more people.

A pared-down version of Facebook’s popular mobile app is also set to make its debut in developed countries following initial rollouts in emerging markets.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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