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Google Station free WiFi launches in Nigeria, and other announcements

July 26, 2018 · 3 min read
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Today at its second Google for Nigeria event, Google announced Google Station for Nigeria; a “program to provide high quality, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots” in Nigeria.

According to Anjali Joshi, VP Product Management at Google, the program will fix connectivity challenges in the country.

Google Station for Nigeria was launched in partnership with 21st Century Technologies; a Nigerian fibre network provider.

The free Wi-Fi hotspots are currently available at the Landmark Centre, The Palms Mall, Ikeja Mall, MMA2 Domestic Airport Terminal, all in Lagos State.

Anjali said Google Station for Nigeria  is expected to reach 200 locations across 5 cities by the end of 2019.

After India, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico, Nigeria is the fifth country to get Google Station. And Google Nigeria Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor says rollout sites will  include markets, transport hubs, shopping malls, universities, and more.

Other announcements include;

Improvements to Google Search

This includes the job search feature  launched in March in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, and a search experience in collaboration with experts at the University of Ibadan that allows users explore health conditions based on symptoms. Food search allows users search recipes and find inspiration for food.

StreetView

Streetview’s Discover Nigeria gallery has been expanded to include the National Museum in Lagos, Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Millenium Park in Abuja, and Lekki Conservation Centre.

There were also updates to several products from the “Go” initiative launched last year and aimed at users with low bandwidth and low-RAM devices.

Google Go

In the coming months, the Go browser will soon read web pages out loud and highlight each word so users can follow along.

YouTube Go

A new update lets users browse downloaded YouTube Go videos, saved as .yt files, right from the gallery on their phones without opening the YouTube app.

Google Maps Go

With artificial intelligence and machine learning. Go maps will now provide users with turn-by-turn directions, whether they’re travelling by car, bus or on foot.

Android Go

Launched in Nigeria and 29 other African countries earlier this year, the Go OS gives people coming online for the first time a powerful and reliable smartphone experience.

On the new products and updates, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor said;

Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor

“We are offering new solutions to improve and expand access in Nigeria and across Africa; these launches demonstrate our commitment to Africa through products built to help people in Africa to make the most of the Internet.”

In conclusion, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo delivered a keynote address where he highlighted on the opportunities that abound.

VP Yemi Osinbajo delivering a keynote address

“Nigeria will be the 3rd most populous nation by 2050,  and with this number, there are a lot of crisis and technology is the tool we have to the rescue. It will also be impossible to use classrooms alone to teach this number, so technology is also invaluable in this and other cases,” he said.

Victor Ekwealor

Victor Ekwealor

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tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor

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