UASF, BoFiNet partnership improves Wi-Fi
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Mabua Mabua, the Botswana Fibre Network (BoFiNet) CEO, says his corporation has led the country into a new age of connectivity. He was answering questions in a media interview adding that Batswana have welcomed modern communications services offered by BoFiNet and other telecommunication service providers that have partnered with his organisation by facilitating easier access to Wi-Fi.
As of recently, BoFiNet in conjunction with the Universal Access Service Fund (UASF) has undertaken to deploy Wi-Fi hot spots in strategic areas in the country, including government offices, malls, hospitals, airports, bus ranks and border posts in selected cities, towns and a number of villages.
The Wi-Fi hotspot project was initiated in line with the government of Botswana’s Maitlamo (ICT Policy) and National Broadband Strategy, targeted at realising broadband penetration through the provision of cheap internet services for Batswana.
“This project when complete will see Batswana having access to high-speed internet in high density areas. The collaborative efforts of telecommunications service providers, BOCRA and UASF have made all this possible,” said Mabua
Mabua also said that a total of 31 sites will be connected with roughly 597 access points to ensure robust connection across all sites. “This project will increase penetration of broadband services and facilitate access to the capacity available to Batswana.”
BoFiNet currently provides Internet Protocol Transit (IPT)/ Internet services to registered Internet Service Providers (ISP), Value Added Service Providers (VANS) and Public Service Operators (PTOs). The current utilization for the service is estimated to be over 3GB and growing. The entity has customers that already have equipment in some of the targeted sites where Wi-Fi internet will be deployed.
“People visiting malls, hospitals and transport hubs will now be able to access internet services at affordable rates. Vouchers will be available through ISPs which will allow people to move from one hotspot to the next without missing a beat. Vendors of the vouchers will be visible and purchasing a voucher will be as easy as loading airtime into a prepaid phone.”
The Wi-Fi project is geared towards creating opportunities for innovative minds within the ICT industry which will enhance the entrepreneurial spirit among the youth. “Together with BOCRA, UASF, BoFiNet endeavours to facilitate young business minds in the ICT industry to come together and create worthwhile venture that can grow the industry sustainably.
This has had a positive impact on the ICT industry thereby enhancing economic diversification milestones of the government. In addition, the project will put Botswana at par with the rest of the world when it comes to broadband connectivity to its citizens,” said the BoFiNet CEO.