Government Eyes Public Free Wi-Fi

Mwala and Munthali after signing the contract Mwala and Munthali after signing the contract - pic by Happy Njalam'mano

Government through the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) has partnered mobile network provider, TNM, to offer free Wi-Fi in public places across the country.

On Monday, the two partners signed the three year contract in Blantyre for the K1.2 billion World Bank funded project.

PPPC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Mwala, says that “we are trying to catch up with our friends in other countries with this development.

“As you are aware now, having no connectivity is becoming a stumbling block to communication. It was normal to have no connectivity a long time ago but the world has now changed. You just need to have it,” she said.

Mwala said that they did a study and identified thirty sites throughout the country as Wi-Fi hotspots.

“We have about 16 schools, hospitals, four libraries just mentioning a few. We have agreed with TNM that they should install internet connectivity in these places for a period of three years,” she said.

She said every person will be offered 120MB of data per day because "the idea is about connectivity and communication, not that people should be using it to download or watch movies.”

TNM Chief Information Officer, Peter Munthali, assured people of better connectivity.

“As a service provider, TNM has robust stable and reliable platform and therefore we will be able to provide Wi-Fi as required in these specific locations,” he said.

Meanwhile, installation of equipment is in progress and is expected to be done by October, 2021 when the service will be rolled out.  

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