TNM Plc has partnered with Malawi government to provide free Wi-Fi in selected public places across the country over a three-year period.
The initiative is being implemented by Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) under the Digital Project Malawi and will lead to the setting up of 30 Wi-Fi hotspots including schools, libraries, hospitals and markets where users will be given 120 Mega Bytes (120MBs) for browsing each day with an option to buy more.
Speaking during the contract signing ceremony in Blantyre, Acting Chief Executive Officer for Public Private Partnership Commission, Audrey Mwala said the initiative will benefit students and allow them to perform better as they access the latest information at their schools and libraries.
“People in hospitals will also be able to connect with their loved ones and those in markets will be able to do business online,” said Mwala.
TNM Chief Information Officer Peter Munthali said the engagement of TNM Plc in the project was a seal of approval from the Malawi Government, through PPPC and a recognition of TNM’s capabilities to offer reliable and efficient Free Public Wi-Fi to targeted public institutions.
“We feel honored for this recognition. As a pioneer telecoms company in Malawi with end-to-end solutions provider for all telecommunication needs, TNM is geared up to the task of ensuring targeted communities enjoy a seamless user experience in all the 30 Wi-Fi hotspots,” said Munthali.
He noted that provision of new technologies such the Free Public Wi-Fi needed to be matched with provision for more affordable devices on the market.
“As we push for digital inclusion, we will continue to engage government on possible options aimed at bringing down the cost of internet enabled devices,” said Munthali.
Munthali said on its part, apart from introducing affordable smartphone (kaiOS 4G phone) on the market at K24,999, TNM has also partnered with commercial banks to give their mutual customers ‘smart digital lifestyle’ through the mobile device loans to bring the world at their fingertips.
To increase high speed internet availability at low cost, TNM plc as a champion of digital technologies recently partnered the world’s technology giant Facebook, to roll out public access Wi-Fi hotspots in the country.
TNM Express Wi-Fi is designed to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content. “Anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device, regardless of their network of use, can access the TNM Express Wi-Fi network at an Express Wi-Fi hotspot or retailer and purchase a daily, weekly or monthly data pack.”
“To sign up to the service, a customer needs to open https://tnm-mw.expresswifi.com on their mobile device browser and register for the service. First time users will get a free 100MB of data that can be used at any TNM Express Wi-Fi hotspot location. Users only have to sign up once and get access to all available hotspots nationwide,” explained Munthali.
Blantyre and Lilongwe Market, Zomba, Queen Elizabeth Central and Kamuzu Central hospitals, and district hospitals like Thyolo, Mangochi are among the beneficiaries.
The project is expected to start in October next year.