SA minibus taxis to get free Wi-Fi

2014-06-10 14:06
Taxis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Taxis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has announced an ambitious plan to roll out a free Wi-Fi programme for commuters.

The project is expected to be implemented within three years and be available around taxi ranks and in vehicles, according to a report on IOL.

Santaco said that fares will not increase as a result of the Wi-Fi offer, and this is similar to Prasa (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) which recently launched free Wi-Fi at Cape Town rain station.

These moves are a reflection of the number of people who are making increasing use of smartphones to access travel information and transact online.

As more people make use of mobile internet services, huge data growth is expected in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Data appetite

According to data from Ericsson's Mobile Data Traffic Growth report for 2013 to 2019, the region's data appetite is huge and expected to grow at 65% to 2019 and beyond.

Put into perspective, mobile data in the region was at 37 000 terabytes (TB) per month in 2013, and that will jump to 76 000TB by the end of 2014, on its way to a mammoth 764 000TB by the end of 2019.

Major centres have also begun rolling out Wi-Fi services.

Pretoria has launched a Wi-Fi programme that will ensure that all residents are covered with free internet access.

"In the next eighteen months, the City of Tshwane will expand the project and roll out about 600 additional Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Tshwane, prioritising institutions of learning," Alan Knott-Craig jnr, the brains behind Project Isizwe told News24.

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