Some suburbs in Johannesburg, Pretoria and the Western Cape have already reaped the rewards of having access to free WiFi, as initiatives like Project Isizwe aim to blanket large areas with internet connectivity, with more in the works.
But while most of those projects have been executed by small independent companies and aimed at established, wealthy suburbs for the most part, large international telecoms company Orange is tackling the issues of access to internet for communities who previously had no means to do so – and for free.
Orange announced this morning that it will be supplying residents living in the suburbs of Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain with free WiFi so that they will be able to connect any WiFi-enabled device to the network and surf for a limited period.
Sebastien Crozier, CEO of Orange Horizons (a division of Orange that seeks out new business opportunities for the company) indicated that the project has been implemented in partnership with the City of Cape Town, and will be rolled out in two phases.
“The first phase of the project will offer free WiFi to anyone making use of a WiFi-enabled device. Users will get a free bundle per day to use as they please. In the second phase of the project we will offer some paying offers along with free WiFi.”
In a media statement, Orange highlighted that the free WiFi rollout is part of its aim to develop a world where internet access is freely available to as many people as possible.
“Orange is both excited and proud to be working with the City of Cape Town on this project. It is very important to us, as our brand is well known for having a strong CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) component, and these types of projects are very much in line with our vision of a world where internet access is available to all.”
Orange has been operating in the country for a while, and Crozier revealed that this WiFi initiative is only a small part of its bigger plan in South Africa.
“This project is a major step in introducing Orange as an ISP in South Africa, and will be key in finalising the offers that will be launched nationwide in the months to come.”[Source – Orange, Image CC by 2.0/Nicolas Nova]