Opera’s Murray Neil Spark and Jo Crawshaw, PayPorte’s Eyo Bassey

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria 

Nigeria’s leading online shopping portal, Payporte, is giving away free internet to hundreds of thousands of Nigerians on the Airtel network.

To make this happen, the firm said it is partnering with Opera Mini through Opera’s Sponsored Web Pass, which enables brands to sponsor, at no-cost, internet access through mobile operators to provide their customers with easy-to-understand methods of accessing the net.

According to a research firm, Ipsos, Nigeria is already taking the lead in Africa in terms of online shopping uptake with over half of internet users having engaged with online shopping portals.

MD, PayPorte Global System, Eyo Bassey, lamented that data usage in the country remains low in comparison to mobile penetration. Initiatives such as these aim to provide a free taste of the internet for those who do not regularly go online.

He said, “Payporte is sponsoring 100,000 days of free internet every month for six months. E-commerce is revolutionising the way in which many Nigerians shop. We at Payporte are thrilled to provide free internet to current and future online shoppers and give them a taste for everything the internet has to offer.”

He said he hopes more people will come to the internet through the freebie, adding that the more people visit the net, the more likely they are to patronise Payporte virtual shopping mall.

Speaking during the unveiling of the initiative in Lagos, VP Africa, Opera Software, Richard Monday, said, “Opera Software endeavours to pioneer solutions that facilitate low or no-cost access to mobile internet. We’re excited to work with Payporte and our operator partners in Nigeria to help bring more people online.”

Bassey said the access will begin with Airtel Nigeria where subscribers can find the free pass by going to webpass.opera.com.  Other carriers such as MTN, Globacom and Etisalat are expected to join to provide the service.

 

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