People who live in Tshwane can look forward to making free calls as well as downloading blockbuster movies free of charge on the Tshwane Free WiFi network, making Tshwane the first city in the world that offers free access to movies in this way.
Kgosientso Ramokgopa, executive mayor of Tshwane, explains that three new services, WiFi Voice, Drive In and WiFi Chat will be added to the services.
WiFi Chat is a web-based platform for information and feedback, as well as a new service delivery mechanism where users can log queries and complaints.
With WiFi Voice users connected to the Tshwane Free WiFi network using the WiFi Voice application, will be able to make unlimited free calls to each other and the city’s customer care line, while WiFi Drive In will enable users to watch a selection of movies including some of the latest Hollywood blockbusters, on their private devices in a WiFi Drive Inn area.
“The high cost of voice calls creates a barrier to stimulating economic growth and creating opportunity for our youth. The City of Tshwane will effectively reduce the cost of doing business in and with the city through the Tshwane WiFi Voice app,” says Zahir Khan, chief operating officer of Project Isizwe, the non-profit organisation driving the process of bringing free WiFi to communities.
WiFi Drive In will be available over weekends and offer family entertainment around thirty Hollywood blockbusters on personal devices, complemented by food kiosks, flea-market stalls and kids’ areas to offer a true family experience to enjoy content previously reserved for a privileged few. The first site will be the Fountains Valley Park and more sites will be enabled based on the model developed here.
“We envisage that this site will offer a secure environment where people can congregate and be entertained. It is important for the city to create environments for family entertainment where citizens can break away from their usual routine and engage in a unique, ground-breaking experience,” Khan says.
The Tshwane Free WiFi service realises the City of Tshwane’s vision of enabling every citizen to be digitally included and part of the digital economy, regardless of personal circumstance. The value the service offers to citizens in a city where connectivity is available to everyone, has established Tshwane as a true global metropol. In addition, it ensures that the City is poised for the long-term benefits of increased GDP, productivity and efficiencies from a service delivery as well as a digital inclusion perspective.
The Tshwane Free WiFi network has 700 live sites, in more than 95% of the wards in the city. So far the service has had more than 720,000 unique users. The network is available at sites at various schools, tertiary centres, libraries, health facilities, customer and municipal centres, tourism and heritage venues, as well as sites on buses, at stations and curb stops on the Areyeng Trunk Route.