By Chinedu James
Lagos is coming under a total internet cloud as Swift Networks has announced plans to make free Wi-Fi connection available to about two million users daily in Nigeria’s commercial nerve center of over 15 million people.
The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Swift Networks, Mr. Charles Anudu at the launch of the free broadband Wi-Fi service dubbed ‘Red Cheetah’ said the intention of the free connection is to address the issue of broadband connectivity and also reach those who have limited access to connectivity.
“The internet technology has revolutionized a lot of things in Nigeria; some people have it and some don not have it. Those that do not have it are actually those who need it the most and these people belong to the digital generation.
“No company has been able to come up with the business model or strategy to address that challenge. And that’s what Swift Networks has addressed with the introduction of Red Cheetah” said Anudu.
According to Anudu, the service is already available in about 250 BRT buses and the target is to create 10,000 hotspots in Lagos within six months that will cover airports, schools, buses, malls etc.
“Our target is to create 10,000 hotspots in Lagos within six months. This will cover many verticals including schools, airports, buses, taxis, shopping malls, bars, clubs, restaurants, open markets, hospitals, barbing and hairdressing saloons.
“Already, we are somewhere around 500 and growing very rapidly. The service is found in buses; we already have 250 BRT buses running the service. What it means is that if you are riding from let’s say Ikorodu to CMS, you will enjoy free Wi-Fi service.
“Our dream is that when you go to your hairdresser, when you go to your barber’s shop, when you go to Mama Put on Campus, most of the places you go to and sit down for 20 to 30 minutes, there should be Red Cheetah there.
“It has taken us two years to develop this service. We are very proud that we are introducing this service to the country,” he said.
He said intending users must first download the Red Cheetah app from Google play store and view adverts at intervals from the sponsors and partners who make the free service available. The service which currently runs only on Android operating system will soon be available on iOS and Windows.
“Users are allowed to register multiple android devices as every device must be independently registered to access the internet via Red Cheetah,” he explained.
Anudu further stated that in developing the app, the security of users on the platform was in their thoughts which resulted in the establishment of a distinct and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN).
“We carried out a survey and found out that the key attributes people want on their internet are one, speed; two, people want reliability; three is security. That’s why we went the VPN route. Ours is a highly secure network,” he stated.