Google has abruptly ended its free Wifi programme in South Africa. The programme dubbed ‘Google Station’ was shut down barely 3 months after its launch.
Launched in November 2019, the Google free WiFi service offered free, fast and open access internet service to low-income communities in South Africa.
The station capitalizes on Think WiFi services to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places. It also provides advice on both software and hardware devices to turn fiber connections into Wi-Fi networks.
The Station has its base across 125 locations in Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Delft, Elsies River, and Philippi.
However, three months down operations line in CapeTown, Google has chosen to discontinue its free WiFi service in the country due to diverse technical requirements. The tech giant noted that the involvement in the ecosystem, coupled with complex and varying technical requirements across countries and partners prompted its decision to shut down the Google Station.
The search engine giant will, however, transfer the ownership of its free WiFi service to its partner, Think WiFi. Google’s WiFi projects and operations in South Africa will be independently handled by Think WiFi via the stations.
Furthermore, Google will work with and support Think WiFi on a transition plan until December 2020. A statement released by Think WiFi stated that the free WiFi service will continue to operate exactly as it did under Google Stations.
The stations will not be shut down in the 124 other locations where it currently operates.