Africa is set to see an increase in the number of free Wi-Fi hotspots in 2014, in line with recent moves to connect entire cities in both Rwanda and South Africa.
According to Ruckus Wireless, a company specialising in Wi-Fi infrastructure, initiatives based on those implemented in Kigali, Rwanda, and the City of Tshwane, South Africa, will become commonplace this year.
HumanIPO reported in November the City of Tshwane, in partnership with the non-profit Project Isizwe, was rolling out the first phase of free Wi-Fi for the city.
Just a few months earlier, it was announced that the Smart Kigali initiative was planning to set-up free Wi-Fi zones in the Rwandan capital.
“2014 is set to be a watershed year for Wi-Fi,” the company said, predicting a worldwide increase in hotspots to 5.8 million by 2015, up 350 per cent from 1.3 million in 2011.
“2014 will hail the first true 3G offload to Wi-Fi in Africa – with many countries including the likes of South Africa and Kenya looking at this as a viable option.”
“Mobile data growth is a key factor here, where it is estimated that 1.9 billion Wi-Fi devices will hit the networks next year and global mobile data traffic is expected to reach 16.84 million terabytes by 2014,” said sales director for Ruckus Wireless in Sub-Saharan Africa Michael Fletcher.