Google launched a network of free Wi-Fi hotspots in lagos on Thursday, part of its effort to increase its presence in Africa’s most populous nation.
The U.S. technology firm, owned by Alphabet Inc, has partnered with Nigerian fiber cable network provider 21st Century to provide its public Wi-Fi service, Google Station, in six places in the commercial capital Lagos, including the city’s airport.
Internet penetration is relatively low in Nigeria. Some 25.7 percent of the population made use of the internet in 2016, according to World Bank data.
The poor internet infrastructure is a major challenge for businesses operating in the country, which is Africa’s largest oil producer. Broadband services are either unreliable or unaffordable to many of Nigeria’s 190 million inhabitants.
“We are rolling out the service in Lagos today but the plan is to quickly expand to other locations,” Anjali Joshi, Google’s vice president for product management, told reporters in Lagos.
The technology firm said it planned to share revenues with its partners to help them maintain and deploy the Wi-Fi service but did not disclose the expected advertising revenue split.
Nigeria is the fifth country to launch Google Station. Similar services have been launched in India, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.
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