Taxi users will now have access to WiFi. Today – Thursday – the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO), launched a free WiFi service called WiTaxi, in Soweto.
According to SANTACO, taxi commuters will get 50MB/month of free Wi-Fi data. This plan forms part of a plan to roll-out broadband Internet access to commuter taxis countrywide. This first phase of the plan will see Wi-Fi access points rolled out to over 1 000 taxis and about 50 taxi ranks. The second phase, with see over 4500 Wi-Fi access points installed per month. It is reported that the first phase will take about 6 months to roll out.
Once the commuter has connected their device with the taxi’s Wi-Fi network, they will be able to use the 50MB in any taxi or rank which is connected. Once the free data is depleted, a prompt would let the user know that the usage has run out. Users can then choose to top up, should they wish.
SANTACO’s long-term vision includes the modernisation of the mini bus taxi, and the revitalisation and transformation of the industry. Rolling out the service – WiTaxi – through its commercial subsidiary, TaxiChoice, Telkom will partner with SANTACO and will provide the 3G and 4G bandwidth that will be used in the taxis to provide commuters with Internet access.
The next three years will see the service rolled out in over 90% of South Africa’s taxis and ranks.