MUSIC PRODUCER, DON JAZZY, LAUNCHES FLOBYT TO PROVIDE FREE WIFI TO PUBLIC PLACES IN NIGERIA
I would like to start this piece by saying, a lot of necessary things in Nigeria have stipulated outrageous prices, things like water, food and toiletries (special emphasis on female hygiene materials). Data is expensive, even if you are a billionaire you know that this is true, not only is it expensive, it gets exhausted before you spell out D-A-T-A. Now in the rare event where it is affordable you would literally have to go to extreme ends and corners of your location, waving your hands as if trying to signal at someone across the road, just to get adequate data service. What this high cost of data does is put a hedge on total exploration and benefits as relates to internet usage.
Hopefully to put an end to data and its affiliated struggles, Music Producer and Mogul, Micheal Collins Ajereh aka Don Jazzy has teamed up with Nigerian technology entrepreneur and founder of Tsaboin, Dele Odufuye, to launch Flobyt Wifi. Flobyt WiFi is a free WiFi service to be installed across public spaces in Lagos such as restaurants, parks, taxis, buses, restaurants etc. The locations would have to be Flobyt partners, of course.
According to co-founder, Dele Odufuye:
The WiFi service is unrestricted for customers in the vicinity of a Flobyt partner location. Now, although it is not the only free WiFi solution in Nigeria as there is Gospot among others, the co-founders of flobyt plan to take the long term train. Flobyt WiFi is already installed in various locations across Lagos. Low traffic spaces can currently accommodate 10 – 30 users at a time, while places with higher traffic goes up to 80 users at once. With expansion plans which include establishing first the rest of Nigeria, then West Africa and ultimately throughout Africa to give the public access to free internet, we are eager to see flobyt come and develop itself.
This leads us to our important question, would the advent of free WiFi services put an end to the long standing reign of telecommunication giants like MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat. There are two perspectives to the question:
Firstly, I would like to daresay YES!, if you are an entrepreneur/business owner or basically have sole access to a smart phone; you know how much more money you would get to save and be able to invest in other aspects of your business or life if you had to save money on data expenses. Businesses would perform better if they have unrestricted access to WiFi and internet activities especially businesses whose existence and thriving relies the internet and the barely exploited world of social media as a business tool. If you've lived abroad and had to come back to maybe visit or set up a business in Nigeria, you would admit it was harder for you to a lot of things, because of the lack of free public WiFi; what this simple instance says is that internet access is the sole surviving base of business and without that or difficult access to it, business would be limited and inhibited from reaching their full potential.
Secondly, NO! Nigerians hate change and simultaneously lock the gates to development and in this case, technological advancement. Fear of the unknown and ignorance do not create an environment for growth through resistance and refusal of suggested way outs of obvious problems. In the course of writing this article, I spoke to a friend and exclaimed in Joy, how there will now finally be free WiFi in Nigeria, and guess what? she rolled her eyes, and adamantly said she would rather stick to buying data rather than let some man make money off using free WiFi. Nigerians are resistant to the smallest form of change.
In conclusion, while a large percentage of I would like to say educated and "woke" Nigerians would buy into this idea, especially millennials (you know anything to be able to spend long hours on social media) and starts-ups/entrepreneurs, if this happens what may be the outcome is a re-branding of telecommunication giants and or merging into one and working hand-in-hand with phone cpmpanies to become defualt service providers, either ways we project a great decline in the patronizing of ISP's (Internet Service Providers).