Facebook, Hughes launch Wi-Fi hotspots in Colombia using Facebook Express Wi-Fi platform
Over the two years, we’ve written several stories about Facebook’s mission to make broadband Internet available to rural communities in third world countries. Back in February, Facebook partnered with Telefonica and other companies, to extend rural connectivity and bring internet access to more people.
Now Facebook is partnering with Hughes Network Systems to launch a satellite-enabled Wi-Fi hotspot service in Colombia using Facebook Express Wi-Fi software platform. Service providers and telecommunications integrators in Colombia can join Hughes to enable local merchants to offer affordable, high-speed Internet access to their customers on a prepaid basis anywhere in Colombia – even in the most remote and rural places – employing a compact Hughes satellite VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) and Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi software platform. Facebook Express Wi-Fi is a platform that enables service providers and mobile network operators to build, operate, grow, and monetize their Wi-Fi business in a sustainable and scalable way.
The service provides prepaid internet access using terminals from Hughes and Express Wi-Fi, a Facebook software platform designed to help providers build, operate and monetize Wi-Fi services. Hughes said the program enables local merchants to offer internet access throughout the country. Hughes said its customers have deployed more than 32,000 satellite-enabled community Wi-Fi hotspots across Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and Russia, reaching more than 25 million people.
“Express Wi-Fi supports the Facebook Connectivity mission to bring more people online with faster Internet,” said Paul Monte, technical program manager, Express Wi-Fi, Facebook. “We’re excited to partner with Hughes to bring this affordable, end-to-end solution to network operators, local retailers and Internet users across Colombia.”
“This combined Hughes and Facebook Wi-Fi solution makes it possible for small businesses in Colombia to monetize their own hotspots virtually anywhere, especially in places unserved or underserved by affordable Internet access,” said Vinay Patel, senior director, International Division at Hughes. “We look forward to forging new relationships with service providers and integrators who want to join Hughes in supporting local communities throughout Colombia.”
Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi is a software platform that helps service providers build, operate, grow and monetize their Wi-Fi business in a sustainable and scalable way. Facebook partners with service providers and operators who expand the provision of fast, affordable and reliable access to the Internet over Wi-Fi supported by the Express Wi-Fi platform.
Hughes customers have deployed over 32,000 satellite-enabled Community Wi-Fi hotspots in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Russia, bringing the benefits of Internet access to more than 25 million people around the world. With a Community Wi-Fi hotspot, any user can access the Internet with a Wi-Fi capable handheld or laptop, either on a prepaid or government-subsidized (USO) basis, depending on the service model. The solution can be readily deployed virtually anywhere within the satellite footprint, including areas unserved or underserved by wireline or wireless infrastructure.
Hughes is one of the world’s leading provider of broadband satellite technology and services for home and office. Its flagship high-speed satellite Internet service is HughesNet®, the world’s largest satellite network with over 1.4 million residential and business customers across North and South America.