‘Smart City’ surges with more free Wi-Fi

Meet­ing trends of con­nect­ing on-the-go, malls roll out more ser­vice in spa­ces

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - AYANDA NTSHANGASE

THE CITY OF Jo­han­nes­burg be­lieves tech­nol­ogy is essen­tial to im­prov­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery and has in­tro­duced an­other leg of its free Wi-Fi roll-out in pub­lic spa­ces.

“At Sand­ton City and Nel­son Man­dela Square we want to bring ex­cep­tional ex­pe­ri­ences to our shop­pers with free un­lim­ited Wi-Fi,” said Jonathan Sin­den, Lib­erty Two De­grees’ as­set man­age­ment ex­ec­u­tive of Sand­ton City and Nel­son Man­dela Square.

This is some­thing they’ve been fo­cus­ing on strate­gi­cally at ev­ery touch point.

There is con­fi­dence that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of free and un­capped Wi-Fi for shop­pers at Nel­son Man­dela Square is sure to meet the emerg­ing

Em­pow­er­ing cit­i­zens with new ways of in­ter­act­ing

so­cial trends of be­ing con­nected on-the-go.

Sand­ton City shop­ping cen­tre is also renowned among both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors as one of Africa’s lead­ing re­tail des­ti­na­tions.

With an im­pres­sive re­tail and leisure space, Sand­ton City is home to more than 300 of the most ex­cit­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional re­tail­ers and presents you with a world of lux­ury in the ex­clu­sive Di­a­mond Walk.

In the past few years, the City of Jo­han­nes­burg an­nounced the suc­cess of its Smart City project that kicked off with the Braam­fontein Wire­less Mesh suc­cess­fully go­ing live.

“We see this as a trans­for­ma­tive ini­tia­tive that will turbo charge Joburg’s dig­i­tal econ­omy,” for­mer Joburg Mayor Parks Tau once said.

Braam­fontein of­fi­cially has free 100% Wi-Fi ac­cess for all cit­i­zens and they have ac­cess to 300MB of data per day per de­vice.

This fa­cil­ity al­lows en­trepreneurs, SMEs, stu­dents, em­ploy­ees and vis­i­tors to con­duct their busi­ness on the go, check emails and up­dates on their so­cial net­works on their way to the of­fice or to cam­pus, as well as have ac­cess to their on­line bank­ing or get some shop­ping done.

The city’s project was well un­der way and saw 1 000 Wi-Fi hotspots com­pleted by the last quar­ter of 2015 as part of the “Smart City” ini­tia­tive to pro­vide broad­band con­nec­tiv­ity to all its cit­i­zens.

As the roll out con­tin­ues, the planned phases of free Wi-Fi in­clude the full stack of quad play which in­cludes voice, video, data and mo­bil­ity par­tic­u­larly around the stu­dent cor­ri­dors.

With the city be­ing con­nected, it is still ex­pected that Joburg will surge ahead to be the num­ber one provider of free Wi-Fi in the coun­try.

The ul­ti­mate pur­pose of the project is to ac­cel­er­ate dig­i­tal in­clu­sion, im­prov­ing ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion and em­pow­er­ing cit­i­zens with new ways of in­ter­act­ing with the city on ser­vice de­liv­ery mat­ters.

Cur­rently more than 50% of all li­braries and clin­ics across the seven re­gions are con­sum­ing free Wi-Fi pro­vided by the city.

PIC­TURE: NOKUTHULA MBATHA

SU­PER SER­VICE: Is­abelo is a wi-fi con­nec­tion and phone charger in­stalled in Braam­fontein help­ing peo­ple and mainly stu­dents who live in the area. The City of Jo­han­nes­burg ex­pects to be the provider of the most wi-fi hotspots in the coun­try.

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