Wednesday, August 01, 2018 6.15PM / Proshare WebTV
Google one of the leading global tech companies as part of its “Google Station Initiative” which was launched since 2012, across four countries (India, Thailand, Mexico, and Indonesia) has added Nigerian as the fifth beneficiary.
This initiative will, however, kicked off in Lagos first in well-populated and crowded public spots like malls, airports, parks, transport hubs, schools/universities etc.
The hotspots are currently available at the Landmark Centre, The Palms Mall, Ikeja Mall, and Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2) Domestic Airport Terminal.
After its successful launch in Lagos, the Google Station service will be expanded to other locations across five additional Nigerian cities namely; Port Harcourt, Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu, Ibadan.
This initiative is in partnership with Nigerian-based fiber network provider 21st Century to install the Wi-Fi hotspots in 200 different locations throughout Nigeria.
In this article we explore 5 benefits the Google Station service will bring to Nigeria
Boost Research and Development
With about 200 Wi-Fi hotspots planned across 5 cities in Nigeria by the end of 2019, the initiative will boost research and development in the country.
Institutions of higher learning which will be covered in the Wi-Fi architecture and this will boost the quality of research, which is critical for a productive economy.
It will increase the online learning space which companies like Phillips Consulting who have developed robust e-learning modules, will leverage on for Nigerians
Improve Internet Access in Nigeria
According to Anjali Joshi, Vice President Product Management, at Google believes the initiative will fix connectivity challenges in Nigeria, improving internet access to millions of Nigerians.
This is vital to giving them the opportunity to learn, connect, interact and keep abreast with key developments within the nation and across the globe.
With a population that has a dominant demography of young people, it is a new opportunity for strategic engagement.
Google Country Manager Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor speaking on the service asserted that it will unlock access to the internet, and improve the connectivity in the nation.
Through Cloud technology internet services will become more accessible to Nigerians, which will bring traction to digital inclusion in the country.
Strengthen the Development of ICT Hubs
For Lagos and the five additional cities(Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Enugu and Ibadan) that are to benefit from the Google free Wi-Fi service, there will be opportunities to establish strategic ICT hubs and clusters, that will catalyze innovation and enhance the digital economy.
Growth of the Digital Economy
The Google initiative will serve as one of the drivers of the growth of the Nigerian digital economy, from e-commerce, Fintech, online based services, ICT firms, and big data firms.
It will be another platform to advance the financial inclusion agenda in Nigeria, through Fintech services that can reach the unbanked Nigerians.
Bridge Digital Divide in Nigeria
With the Fourth Industrial revolution shaping the globe through digital technology, Nigeria and Africa have to bridge the gap. The International Telecommunications Union, ITU says it remains committed to expanding digital expansion across the continent.
The Google Station “Wi-Fi Services” will go a long way in bridging the digital divide in the country, and the impact should be felt from 2020,when the six (6) cities in Nigeria are connected.
A strategic partnership with the telecommunications companies in the country, is essential to scaling up the digital activities.
“Digital connectivity plays a critical role in bettering lives, as it opens the door to unprecedented knowledge, employment and financial opportunities for billions of people worldwide,” Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, International Telecommunications Union said.