Social Media giant Facebook on 5 May 2017 launched Express Wi-Fi commercially in India. The Express Bill service will now be available via 700 hotspots across four states- Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya.
For the purpose of launching Express WiFi in India, Facebook tied-up with Bharti Airtel for setting up an additional 20000 hotspots covering millions of Indians.
The commercial roll out of Express WiFi comes a year after Facebook pulled off the 'Free Basics' programme that drew severe criticism from advocates of net neutrality.
Express Wi-Fi is a part of Facebook’s global initiative to expand internet connectivity. Apart from India, Express Wi-Fi services are currently active in Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Highlights of Express Wi-Fi
• It will complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high bandwidth service allowing users to get online for accessing apps, downloading contents amongst other things at affordable rates.
• Anyone will be able to access the Express Wi-Fi network by signing up with an Express Wi-Fi retailer and purchasing a daily, weekly or monthly data pack.
• They will then be allowed to browse by connecting to the Express Wi-Fi hotspot.
• Unlike Free Basics that provided access to selected websites for free, Express Wi-Fi works on a paid model and the access will not be restricted to any particular websites.