Broadband access, one of the goals of the National ICT Policy, will receive a great boost as one of Nigeria’s foremost broadband service provider, SWIFT Networks has started a campaign that will see it providing a targeted 10, 000 free hotspots in Lagos State.
The company, in partnership with leading global and local firms has rolled out the service, Red Cheetah, a new brand under the stable of Swift Networks, which will start with an initial 10,000 hotspots distributed all over the state, supported by advertising revenues from leading global brands and partners. Red Cheetah is expected to help deepen Nigeria’s broadband penetration and aspiration for universal internet access for greater social equity and inclusion.
Speaking in Lagos at the launch of the service, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SWIFT Networks, Charles Anudu noted that the Red Cheetah service model once more follows in SWIFT’s tradition of demystifying and making technology to work for Nigerians so that they can hook up to the digital world to explore, work and entertain more efficiently.
In his words: “We are excited to pioneer this cutting edge service model and will rapidly extend it to more cities in Nigeria and the continent.” He assured the security of users of the free Wi-Fi service noting that every user’s access is enhanced by the Red Cheetah App which establishes a distinct and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to the internet for each device on the platform. “I strongly believe that this dogged work of over two years is the ideal model that will empower Nigerians to live their most productive lifestyles in a digital world. I am extra proud that everything about Red Cheetah is Nigerian and shows what we can achieve when we commit to solving the problems of our society taking our context into consideration”.
Explaining the service further, Chief Operating Officer of SWIFT, Chukwuma Okoye said: “Our plan is to roll out an initial 10,000 Red Cheetah hotspots in Lagos which will be the largest Wi-Fi footprint of its kind anywhere in Africa and will cover many verticals including schools, airports, buses, taxis, shopping malls, bars, clubs, restaurants, open markets, hospitals and in fact any place where Nigerians need to research, catch up on work and play. This revolutionary service powered by SWIFT is fast, secure, reliable and supported by legendary sponsor brands with strong commitment to corporate social responsibility to Nigeria.”
Red Cheetah hotspots went live in Lagos earlier this month at certain locations including MMA-2, Hard Rock Café, Shiro restaurant, Festival Mall, some Tastee Fired Chicken and Bukka Hut outlets, over 250 BRT Buses, Smart Cabs, Eko Hospital, VGC Club, among others. The rollout, which already boasts of 500 hotspots, is ongoing and more locations are being added on a daily basis towards the 10,000 hotspot target in Lagos.
Prospective Red Cheetah users must first download the Red Cheetah app for Android free from the Google Play Store or from the company’s website, www.redcheetah.net and complete a mandatory one-time online registration process. Users are allowed to register multiple android devices as every device must be independently registered to access the internet via Red Cheetah.
The App, which currently works with Android Operating System, will be available on OiS before the second half of the year, and subsequently on Windows OS. Users are also allowed a daily slot of 1Gigabyte of data, which SWIFT says is a test gearing up to its plan for unlimited data to users. Users will be expected to view adverts at intervals from the sponsors and partners who make the free service possible.
The company also has a special package offer for small and medium companies that would want to use the free Wi-Fi service to boost their businesses.