Santaco, the South African National Taxi Council, will this Thursday announce plans to provide free Wi-Fi Internet access to minibus taxi commuters and around taxi ranks. The taxi council is due to launch the service at an event in Orlando West in Soweto on Thursday morning.
According to a report on news website IOL, the project has been spearheaded by Santaco and will be implemented through a collaboration between Telkom, which will provide the connectivity, and Wi-Taxi South Africa, which will look after the infrastructure.
It won’t be the first time that Telkom has been involved in a project to provide Wi-Fi Internet access on public transport.
Those Wi-Fi hotspots, which provide connectivity to Telkom Mobile’s broadband network, were launched on 100 taxis in Gauteng, 30 in Cape Town and 20 in Durban. All of the taxis have the same Wi-Fi name, or service set ID, meaning that after users establish a connection for the first time, their devices will be connected automatically the next time they hail a supported taxi.
According to IOL, Santaco CEO Nkululeko Buthelezi told a local radio station that taxis would not up their fares and that the Wi-Fi is simply going to be a “value-add” for commuters.
“The service will be funded through an advertising model, and will take around two to three years to be fully implemented across the country,” the report said.
The roll-out is expected to start in Gauteng, with about 5 000 taxis a month to be fitted with the necessary equipment. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media