ThinkWiFi and Mawingu Partner to Provide Disaggregated, Open-Source Wi-Fi Network Funded Through A Digital Advertising Monetization Model
Kenya, May 11, 2022—ThinkWiFi, an Africa-based ad-tech free WiFi internet service provider, and Mawingu, an internet service provider backed by Microsoft, today announced it launched the first outdoor Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenWiFi network in Kenya. This collaboration is funded using an advertising-based model, the first time a TIP OpenWiFi network has been built and commercialized using a sponsorship platform.
“ThinkWiFi’s mission is to empower people by giving them access to the internet. We are a purpose-based business working to close the digital divide,” said Janine Rebelo, Founder and CEO of ThinkWiFi. “Working with Mawingu and TIP OpenWiFi provides social upliftment where everyone can get connected to enterprise-grade Wi-Fi through an easy-to-use advertising platform. It’s a win-win-win where brands win by gaining access to high growth consumer segments, consumers win with free, uncapped, high speed connectivity, and the community wins by getting unfettered access to the digital economy through free Wi-Fi networks powered by advertising revenue.”
Managed from ThinkWiFi’s headquarters in South Africa, the Wi-Fi network uses TIP OpenWiFi certified hardware and software including access points (APs) from Edgecore and CIG. Wavespot provides the cloud controller which also implements the backend analytics and location-based services through its AICloud allowing ThinkWiFi to gain valuable customer experience insights. The Wi-Fi network is built on top of Mawingu’s network infrastructure.
“This network clearly demonstrates why TIP OpenWiFi is the most innovative connectivity solution on the market today–it’s open, with multiple vendors supplying hardware, so it can be scaled to provide superb speeds without vendor lock-in. Plus, funding the network through advertising makes community connectivity widely available, and as OpenWiFi already offers a much lower TCO, it’s a very effective way to build affordable Wi-Fi networks in city centers,” said Jack Raynor, TIP OpenWiFi Program Group Co-chair. “Simply put, OpenWiFi is beneficial to the communities that we serve and that’s why we’ve seen it scale so rapidly around the world.”
“Mawingu’s aim is to help our customers access new opportunities for work, education, entertainment, and social connections, through the power of the Internet. Our company’s mission is driven by this very purpose: Open Opportunities”, says Farouk Ramji, Mawingu CEO. “Through our collaboration with ThinkWiFiand OpenWiFi, we can provide free internet to bring us closer to bridging the digital divide in Kenya.”
The ThinkWiFi OpenWiFi network is the first part of a larger rollout that will include additional city centers, transit and tourist hubs and retail malls in Kenya and South Africa with future plans to expand into other African countries and southern European regions. The ThinkWiFi OpenWiFi network deployments are expected to cover a number of public service and healthcare facilities through collaboration and partnership with public organizations.
TIP OpenWiFi is an open source-based Wi-Fi architecture that enables multi-vendor, interoperable Wi-Fi networks. OpenWiFi-based solutions allow ThinkWiFi to seamlessly mix and match access points and controllers from any TIP OpenWiFi compliant manufacturer and developers to quickly create new applications given it is open source.
There are more than 300 companies involved with the TIP OpenWiFi initiative from OEMs, ODMs and silicon providers to managed service providers and app developers. Launched in 2021, TIP OpenWiFi has announced commercial deployments in the United States with Boingo Wireless, in India with Spectra, in Pakistan with Multinet, and a trial with the City of Dublin and Virgin Media that complies with the European Commission’s WIFI4EU initiative, the benchmark for public Wi-fi deployments in Europe.
ThinkWiFi’s mission is to reduce digital poverty and empower people whilst providing FMCG brands with access to high growth consumer markets. ThinkWiFi’s core ambition is Giving people access to free uncapped internet, through an immersive, data enriched, brand safe AdTech platform, .. We’re passionate about closing the digital divide while laying the foundations for the 4th industrial revolution for all under-served communities, by leveraging a powerful combination of Data analytics, Digital advertising and Open WiFi. Think WiFi’s AdTech platform delivers over 14 million ad impressions each month for a growing number of major FMCG brands and financial institutions, and is proud to be a member of the IAB SA which represents the South African digital industry to all sectors, including the marketing community, the media, the South African government and the public. For out more https://www.thinkwifi.online/
Originally founded at the foothills of Mount Kenya, in Nanyuki. Today, Mawingu has expanded coverage to 22 counties, +9,000 active users, and +300,000 hotspot customers served. We can proudly say we are Kenya’s largest internet service provider (ISP) dedicated exclusively to the rural and peri urban markets in the country. The key to our success? Our versatility. We employ wireless, fiber, and smart green-energy technology, making it possible to adapt to the changing terrain demands and market conditions. Learn more at https://mawingu.co
Wavespot is a leading provider of wifi network infrastructure and location-based services for service providers, quick-service restaurants, retail, hospitality, and healthcare. With its multi-vendor cloud controller and AI-powered analytics, Wavespot helps businesses improve their operations and customer experience through insights and automation. Learn more about Wavespot at https://wavespot.net/.
About Telecom Infra Project OpenWiFi
Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a global community of companies and organizations that are driving open and disaggregated infrastructure solutions to advance global connectivity including TIP OpenWiFi. TIP OpenWiFi is an open sourced, community-developed, disaggregated Wi-Fi hardware and software system. The system includes a cloud controller SDK and an enterprise-grade access point (AP) firmware, designed and validated to work seamlessly together. OpenWiFi is managed within TIP’s Open Converged Wireless (OCW) project group, which enables industry collaboration to build, test and validate products that deliver the requirements of valuable service providers’ use cases. The OpenWiFi community currently includes more than 300 participants, including services providers, OEM’s, ODM’s, Software ISV’s, system integrators, silicon vendors & Industry organizations. Learn more about TIP OpenWiFi here.
Pakistan’s Top Service Provider Building Open and Disaggregated Wi-Fi Networks based on TIP’s technologies across Communications Footprint.
– Karachi, Pakistan, February 21, 2023
Multinet, Pakistan’s business communications company of choice, today announced that it is deploying Telecom Infra Project’s OpenWiFi technology to power Wi-Fi networks across the country. Multinet’s OpenWiFi networks will provide seamless high-speed connectivity for public, hospitality, sports and entertainment, and retail enterprise customers.
Well-known for leading-edge telecom solutions to Pakistan, Multinet is the first managed service provider in the region to deploy OpenWiFi’s technology stack to provide the general public and customers with seamless, fast, and affordable connectivity.
Multinet has been providing quality public Wi-Fi across Pakistan, covering all major airports, various public places, malls, and recreational areas with its Wi-Fi infrastructure with the objective of “Connectivity for all.”
“Our singular mission is to deliver superior connectivity solutions for Pakistan and reach out to the public and masses with our public Wi-Fi initiative,” said Adnan H. Zaidi, Chief Operating Officer at Multinet. “By using open and disaggregated technology, such as OpenWiFi, we will continue to lead the market with innovation that delivers exceptional service, quality, and reliability for the public, our customers, and stakeholders. With superior scalability, this will greatly scale up our public Wi-Fi footprint and reach.”
“OpenWiFi is the perfect solution for Multinet because it offers competitive total cost of ownership (TCO) and eliminates vendor lock-in,” said Sandeep Kohli, Connectivity Technologies and Ecosystems Manager, Meta and member of the TIP Open Optical and Open WiFi Program Groups. “It also eliminates the need to introduce additional controllers opening new deployment use cases, such as Wi-Fi networks built for the public, hospitality, sports and entertainment and retail segments, not previously addressed due to cost considerations in these markets.”
“Multinet is leading the region in open and disaggregated technology deployments and we’re excited to see how OpenWiFi will benefit Multinet’s customers,” said TIP Executive Director Kristian Toivo.
India’s Leading Service Provider Continues to Innovate By Building Disaggregated, Open-Source Networks
DELHI, India, January 31, 2022—Spectra, India’s leading managed service provider, today announced that it has expanded the commercial deployment of Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenWiFi solutions. TIP OpenWiFi will enable high-performance broadband services for Spectra’s Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) and Enterprise customers.
Spectra is changing the managed service landscape in India, providing end-to-end network solutions that revolutionize the customer experience. Spectra is committed to driving the Indian government’s goal of making India one of the top ten countries in the world for broadband access.
By building networks with TIP OpenWiFi solutions, Spectra customers will be offered higher bandwidth, better quality of service, and competitive prices, thereby changing how broadband is consumed in India. Spectra installed Access Points (APs) and a Cloud Controller from Inventum, a New Delhi-based technology company.
“Spectra’s mission is ‘to make life better’ and by building Spectra’s Wi-Fi networks with TIP OpenWiFi hardware and software, we are making life better for our customers,” said Udit Mehrotra, CEO and Managing Director, Spectra. “At Spectra, we believe in using the latest technological advancements, and this demonstrates to our customers why Spectra is the leading choice for internet and other managed services in India.”
“Spectra’s choice of using TIP OpenWiFi is a proofpoint to the industry that standards-based Wi-Fi software, cloud controllers, and access points (APs), offer a great customer experience and industry-leading innovation,” said Sandeep Kohli, Connectivity Technologies and Ecosystems Manager, India Market, Meta. “The Wi-Fi industry is ripe for disruption and partners like Spectra prove that they can ‘make life better’ for the industry and end-users with an open-source solution.”
“Our mission is to build the best cloud-enabled networking products for Indian businesses, said Sachin Mehra, Founder and Managing Director, Inventum. “TIP OpenWiFi will enable our customers to deploy the best wireless technology in the market and ensure a great experience for their end users.”
TIP OpenWiFi is an open source-based Wi-Fi architecture that enables multi-vendor, interoperable Wi-Fi networks. The TIP OpenWiFi-based solution enables Spectra to seamlessly mix and match access points and controllers from any TIP OpenWiFi compliant manufacturer, enabling it to easily expand its Wi-Fi footprint. It also allows developers to quickly create new applications given it is open source.
There are more than 300 companies involved with the TIP OpenWiFi initiative from OEMs, ODMs and Silicon Providers to Carriers and Service Providers to App Developers. Boingo Wireless recently announced its first wide commercial deployment of TIP OpenWiFi 6E solutions in the United States, and Virgin Media and the City of Dublin announced a field trial of a WiFi4EU-Compliant Network in the EU.
Spectra is a leading network-as-a-service provider. Spectra’s purpose is to empower businesses and business owners by designing robust network services that deliver efficiency, scalability, and a hassle-free experience. Spectra’s goal is to become the partner of choice for businesses of all sizes in their digital transformation journey. Within our network-as-a-service offering we design, deploy, monitor, and manage end-to-end networks including WAN, LAN & network security for a single or multi-location environment using software-defined networks. Spectra has also ventured into offering AI/ML-based video analytics for many use cases across industries.
About Telecom Infra Project
Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a global community of companies and organizations that are driving infrastructure solutions to advance global connectivity. Half of the world’s population is still not connected to the internet, and for those who are, connectivity is often insufficient. This limits access to the multitude of consumer and commercial benefits provided by the internet, thereby impacting GDP growth globally. However, a lack of flexibility in the current solutions – exacerbated by a limited choice in technology providers – makes it challenging for operators to efficiently build and upgrade networks. Founded in 2016, TIP is a community of diverse members that includes hundreds of companies — from service providers and technology partners, to systems integrators and other connectivity stakeholders. We are working together to develop, test and deploy open, disaggregated, and standards-based solutions that deliver the high quality connectivity that the world needs — now and in the decades to come. Find out more: www.telecominfraproject.com
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