Facebook launches an ambitious rural Wi-Fi plan
The social networking giant is currently negotiating with Internet service providers in India, with the goal of expanding its Express Wi-Fi program in this country. The pilot project was run in 125 villages, and it’s been a success so far. The initiative will allow Indian citizens to purchase affordable Internet access packages from their local ISPs.
So far, the Facebook officials have not revealed the names of the Internet service providers that they are negotiating with. The social media leader has tried to implement free Internet access in several Indian villages, but the initiative failed after the authorities banned them, due to their discriminatory packages, which also included zero – rated services.
Mumbai to become a Wi-Fi city by 2017
Mumbai will have 1200 free Wi-Fi hotspots by 2017. At least that’s the plan! The government officials have stated that they intend to place these free hotspots in the most important areas of the city. Examples include: Gateway of India, Chowpatty, and so on. The minimum guaranteed speed will be 20 MBPS.
The first 500 hotspots should be operational before the end of the year. These free Wi-Fi systems will also be used to assist smart cars with parking, as well as help public transportation by providing real-time traffic updates.
Travelers demand in-flight Wi-Fi
A larger and larger number of people are demanding to have access to Wi-Fi and Internet during their flights, even though they are reluctant to pay for these services. This leaves aircraft companies with a big dilemma, because they’re supposed to invest millions of dollars to upgrade their aircrafts with the technology that would allow Wi-Fi access.
So far, about half of the aircraft flight providers have added Wi-Fi access to the facilities that they are offering to their passengers. Quantas plans to offer onboard Wi-Fi without asking for any charge, but other companies like Virgin Australia intend to charge their customers for Internet access.
Still, companies that plan to charge for Wi-Fi access are in a delicate position, because if their prices exceed their competitors’ prices, people may choose a rival airline company.
Recent research shows that people are willing to pay about $10 for Wi-Fi access while flying locally, and about $20 for international flights.
Emirates is currently offering 10 MB of data for free, and then charges its customers about three dollars per gigabyte. It’s not a big price to pay for sure, and other companies such as China Airlines also have decent prices, charging about nine dollars for 24 hours of Internet access.
Still, other companies like Thai Airways demand about $40 per 20 MB. Singapore Airlines charges the same amount of money for only 30 MB of data.
People should carefully read the fineprint before using Wi-Fi access services during their flights. The good news is that most airlines are transparent when it comes to their prices and how much data you are actually getting in exchange for your money.