ThinkWiFi, an Africa-based ad-tech free Wi-Fi internet service provider, and Mawingu, an internet service provider backed by Microsoft, have announced the launch of the first outdoor Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenWiFi network in Kenya.
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, an open sourced, community-developed, disaggregated Wi-Fi hardware and software system.
This collaboration is funded using an advertising-based model, the first time a TIP OpenWi-Fi network has been built and commercialised using a sponsorship platform.
Janine Rebelo, Founder and CEO of ThinkWiFi, explains: “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.
The ThinkWiFi OpenWiFi network is the first part of a larger rollout that will include additional city centres, transit and tourist hubs and retail malls in Kenya and South Africa. Future plans include expanding 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. The TIP says 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.