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Worldlink Communications, the third-largest telecom company in Nepal, has announced its partnership with the world’s biggest social networking site, Facebook, to expand Express WiFi service in various public places of Nepal. Express Wifi comes either free for some data volume or time to the customers. They have successfully integrated 7,500 express WiFi access points at the end of August.
Express WiFi by Facebook is currently present in 8 countries that include only two countries in Asia: India and Nepal. Worldlink signed a contract with Facebook in 2019. Following the association, Worldlink arranged free WiFi service at Dasarath Stadium for SAG games in December 2019. After achieving 7500 locations, Worldlink has planned to expand free Wifi to 30000 locations within 2023.
Worldlink announced about the partnership in a virtual conference, which was conducted in the presence of Dileep Agrawal, the Chairman and Managing Director of WorldLink, Keshav Nepal, the CEO of Worldlink, Laxman Yadav, the Corporate affair Director of Worldlink. Similarly, other officials who were present are Samit Jana, the Chief Technical Officer at Worldlink, Punit Manandhar, the Technical Manager of Worldlink, and Karan Kharra representing Facebook. They talked about the benefits of such a partnership with Facebook and its significant impact on the connectivity and digitalization in Nepal.
Worldlink claims they have now 5 lakhs (0.5 million) customers who rely on their public WiFi internet service. Currently, Worldlink has made its internet service available in 73 districts and aims to cover all parts of the country.
Express WiFi aims to contribute to Worldlink’s vision of connecting mass, anywhere, and anytime with fast, affordable, and reliable internet service. Worldlink representatives narrowed down some benefits of Express WiFi service, which are as follows:
Worldlink has been providing high-speed, reliable internet service via FTTH in the city area. As there are people who cannot afford such fibre internet and cellular/mobile data, Worldlink had been working to facilitate people for easy and free/cheap internet solutions.
Their main intention for this free public WiFi is to connect those who are deprived of access to internet service. Fibre and mobile data connection limit geographically and economically to connect people dispersed at different locations. Whereas such public wifi is easy to deploy, cost-friendly, and reliable alternative to expensive solutions like cellular data.
Express WiFi hotspot will be available at various public places, including remote areas where the internet will be available for the public for free. Having said that Express wifi is a free service, it is limited as per either time or volume. As per Worldlink, they have either set 500MB or 30 minutes or 90 minutes of data usage depending on the locations.
After the expiration of allotted time or data, you won’t be able to use the WiFi service. But, if you want to extend it, then you need to watch the advertisement by Worldlink. For now, it is a COVID-19 awareness video as a part of the Video awareness campaign. Watching the ad will add up extra time or data for you to use.
Unlike the regular WiFi service, Express WiFi service can be connected at the places with the Express WiFi hotspot. It means once you register for any one of the Express wifi Hotspot, you can access it from any location where the Express wifi is available. A user does not have to request OTP each time to connect to the hotspot. You do not need to follow the repetitive process of connecting wifi everywhere you go. After the first login, the wifi auto connects, reducing the hassle of connecting the wifi service again and again.
Worldlink believes that its the trust of Facebook towards Worldlink that this alliance was possible. The partnership will help their brand in gaining trust around the globe. This partnership is believed to open new paths for many more collaborations and ventures in the future.
Nepal is a popular tourist destination where thousands of tourists arrive every year. There was no option for tourists to have access to internet connection other than buying a new SIM card and activate data packs or select expensive roaming. Considering the convenience of the tourists while they are in Nepal, Worldlink has another option for the tourists.
Tourists with WhatsApp account can access Express wifi service here in Nepal without acquiring a local phone number. It means tourists can access Express Wifi from a foreign phone number. This authentication from WhatsApp other than the OTP to mobile number is quite convenient to the tourists.
Worldlink, the pioneer of free public WiFi in Nepal, has the vision to enrich the lives of its customers from underprivileged communities and under-connected areas. It believes Express wifi will help them achieve their dream of complimenting poor mobile coverage or No fixed internet coverage. Worldlink aims to operate Express WiFi in 30,000 locations within 2023 and bridge the digital divide of the country.
Most of us are curious about the security that the Express WiFi offers at such public places. The internet connection follows the security guidelines as directed by NTA. The KYC (Know Your Customer) policy, as well as data and time limitation, reduces the risk of misuse of the public WiFi.
As the Express WiFi partnership helps the ISP to deploy and operate such a WiFi network, the platform enables to identify new segments and grow their customer base. Such identification and growth allow the service provider to open up a new revenue stream, and that without putting pressure of the end user’s wallet. As an example: Worldlink mentioned that the monetization of Public WiFi can be performed with the video ads for people who wish to consume more time or volume.
Express WiFi is a global platform by Facebook to reduce connectivity challenges. It was a barrier for people to have access to an internet connection in public places. With the availability of Express wifi, people can now have access to the internet for free at public places in Nepal.
Its high-speed, affordable, and reliable quality will enhance the internet user experience. Worldlink is one of the top internet service providers (ISPs) of Nepal who just recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Worldlink has been connecting 420,000 households and providing free WiFi service to 10,000 locations across Nepal.
The extended coverage promotes the digitalization and sustainability of such internet service in the country. This partnership of Worldlink and Facebook expects to boost the CSR initiative of Worldlink.
What do you think of the partnership between Worldlink and Facebook for Express WiFi? Express your thoughts in the comment section below.