Facebook rolls out its Express Wi-Fi service commercially

Express Wi Fi by Facebook Launched Commercially in India Airtel to Launch 20,000 Hotspots

Currently, Facebook has deployed almost 700 hotspots across four Indian states including Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya and the company claims to extend the footprint in coming months. They are offering low-priced, high bandwidth alternatives to the local market and is now live in five countries - India, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Facebook also announced its partnership with Bharti Airtel to launch an additional 20,000 hotspots, which will be deployed over the next few months. The vouchers can be purchased both on and offline.

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India is a growing market and is actually the largest growing market on the planet for Facebook.

The service also empowers local entrepreneurs to start businesses to offer Wi-Fi access to their towns and regions.

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Munish Seth, regional head APAC, Facebook Connectivity Solutions has confirmed these developments, as he said, "Airtel is already in the planning stage for this deployment,". The Express Wi-Fi offers 700 hotspots in four states across the country. Facebook finally pulled the plug on the controversy- ridden programme in India in February previous year after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) barred operators from charging discriminatory rates for Internet- access based on content. This time around, Facebook is trying to do the right thing and not upset the netizens of the country. One that would give Indian developers the chance to offer their services and websites for free of cost to citizens that can not afford to pay for the internet. Facebook said that the partnership would allow Express Wi-Fi to reach million more Indians who need super-fast and affordable connectivity.

"Their [Google's and Facebook's] objective is to create a framework which is replicable". Meanwhile, the new Express WiFi offers Internet at high speeds of up to 10 Mbps without any per day restriction on accessing any part of the Internet. Both companies are aiming on capitalizing on India's growth for long term success. Google has an up and running free Wi-Fi platform scattered across hundreds of railway stations.

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Under the initiative, Facebook provides the underlying networking technology to telecommunications companies like Bharti Airtel, which then determine how much to charge Indian residents. Earlier in November 2016, reports also surfaced that Facebook is testing waters for pulling its Express Wi-Fi project in India. Facebook aims to increase the total internet audience which is 390 million at present amounting to be about 30 percent of the total population of 1.3 billion.

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