Google launched its free public WiFi initiative called Google Station yesterday in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja making it the second city in Nigeria after Lagos where the service is available. Google Station Abuja was launched in partnership with Backbone Connectivity Network [BCN], an integrated communications and data management company. The News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] reports that Google launched Google Station at three sites, including Wuse Market, Enab Plaza, and Banex Plaza.
At the launch, Head of Partnership Sub-Saharan Africa, Next Billion Users [NBU] for Google Seidu Abdullahi, said this is line with Google’s mission to increase global internet user count from 4 billion to over 5 billion. said that the launch was in partnership with Backbone Connectivity Network, an integrated communications, and data management company. He said; “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 set up, maintain and monetize their Wi-Fi networks.”
Earlier today we were joined by H.E @ProfOsinbajo as we announced the expansion of Google Station to Abuja to provide free and reliable internet access to millions of people in markets and malls in Nigeria’s capital city. #GoogleStationAbuja pic.twitter.com/aZbRSKWySS
— Google in Africa (@googleafrica) December 6, 2018
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was present at the launch and he remarked; “This is a very exciting day for me. A couple of months ago we were at the Silicon Valley office of Google and the CEO Sundar Pichai told me of Google Station at railway stations in India and I told him that if these work in India, we must get them to markets and places in Nigeria.” In reference to his July trip with members of the Presidential Advisory Group On Technology and Creativity. “The more Nigerians have access to the internet, the better for us as a country and our economy. This is in line with our vision to democratize access and we are looking to extend this to as many places as possible,” he concluded.
In July, Nigeria became the first West African country to have Google Station, with Lagos going live first. Google promises its free Wi-Fi service to reach 200 locations across 5 cities by the end of 2019.