Telkom still keen on wifi payphones

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Telkom told TechFinancials.co.za on Monday that it is still interested in transforming the coin or card operated payphones into wifi hotspots. By Gugu Lourie


 

Last year Telkom told TechFinancials.co.za that it was contemplating turning its thousands of public payphones into wifi hotspots.

In 2013, City of New York asked designers to re-imagine the city’s decrepit payphones as internet-flinging, ad-

Telkom Phone Booth
Telkom Phone Booth

spitting future machines, according to Gizmodo.

Telkom 79 000 public payphones scattered around the country could create an instant massive network, which could help provide broadband access to millions of South Africans.

Speaking at Satnac conference in Hermanus on Monday Prenesh Padayachee, Telkom’s MD for wholesale services said Telkom would make use of the assets (like the payphones) to (turn them into wifi hotspots, so that we don’t have any additional costs.

He added that if we use payphones, we would be able to put WiFi in there, and ideally would like to put it in as many payphones across the country.

Telkom has the largest Wi-Fi network in the country. It has 6 100 on air Wi-Fi hotspots as at 31 March 2015.

“We would want to expand to where the infrastructure is and an example of this is MWEB’s Fon network,” explains Padayachee.

MWEB became the first South African broadband service provider to sign an exclusive deal with Fon, a worldwide Wi-Fi community of over 12 million users on 16 January 2014. You are able to become your very own hotspot through the use of Fon-enabled routers, which will share your secure home or business Wi-Fi broadband connection with any other Fon members.

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