Yesterday, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced the plan to bring free Wi-Fi to 400 train stations in India. Every day, 10 million passengers board trains in India. The proper execution of this plan means that more people in India will have access to the internet, which has become a vital part of progress in today’s society. By doing this, Google follows in the footsteps of Facebook, which itself has embarked on this mission to provide greater internet accessibility worldwide.
In Nigeria, a little over 50% of the population have access to the internet. Even with this number, data plans are expensive. Looking at Google’s plan for India, one wonders how it can be adopted in Nigeria to suit the current travel habits of the majority. The railway system in Nigeria is underdeveloped but there are other ways this innovation can be put to use:
Nigerians travel by road a lot. Free Wi-Fi can be provided to passengers waiting to board intra and inter-city buses, at parks and stations. This system won’t only serve the passengers well, but it will also work well for the transport company as they will be able to conduct their business online. Thereby improving the speed of their bookings and reservations services.
Taxis and Metro Buses
Currently, Smile Communications is running a partnership with Lagos Metro Cabs to provide free Wi-Fi to passengers. However, this is limited to just a few taxis and areas in Lagos. With Google’s resources, more taxis and buses could be partnered with for this purpose. So while on the road, passengers can work online, watch videos and download documents. With the reported strength of Google’s internet, there will be less reasons to be frustrated with the notoriously slow ISPs in Nigeria. With the working professional spending an average of 43 working days in traffic congestion per year, this will be a good development.
Photo Credit: Michał Sacharewicz via Compfight cc