Google, UBA Collaborate to Provide Free Wi-Fi to Customers


Africa’s global bank,
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has collaborated with Google and ISP partner
to launch Google Station in 11 key UBA branches in Lagos State as part of plans
to roll out 200 stations in the country.
Google Station, a
platform for providing free, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in public places, began
in Lagos last year, and extended to Abuja in December in partnership with
Backbone Connectivity Network.
google-powered initiative would allow customers access to internet connectivity
within the 11 branches and its environs, thereby facilitating their day-to-day
businesses and activities, while ensuring unhindered connectivity.
The 11 branches where
the hotspot will be located are: UBA Bank Road, 810-811 Bank Road, Daleko; UBA
Matori, 21 Fatai Atere street; UBA Surulere, 152 Ogunlana Drive; UBA Allen, 13
Allen Avenue, Ikeja; UBA Tisco Plaza, Alausa; UBA Apapa, 11-13 Warehouse Road,
Apapa; UBA Marina, 55 Marina, Lagos Island; UBA HQ, Broad Street, Marina; UBA
Lekki Admiralty; UBA Oke Arin and UBA Aspamda Plaza, Trade Fair.  
At the official
launch which took place in UBA’s Head Office on Wednesday, UBA’s Executive
Director/ Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chuks Nweke, expressed UBA’s
excitement over the collaboration, adding that the move will go a long way to
present opportunities far beyond the imagination of both organisations.
He noted that the
challenges of financial inclusion which the USSD platform has not been able to
solve will be eased through the Google Station, as the financially excluded
will now be able to access the internet and enjoy the services provided free of
He said, “It is an
interesting platform which will ultimately benefit everyone. It is a win-win
for everyone. Customers will have ease of doing businesses, especially with the
growing use of smart phones, and the 52 million Nigerians who have otherwise
been financially excluded will now have access to data through this
collaboration and can carry out their transactions with ease.
“Interestingly, SMEs,
who previously had challenges with funding can now do other things which they
couldn’t achieve before, such as accounting services and others. Also, UBA
recently launched an educational app, and so, students will be able to use
these Google Station platform to carry out their necessary research from the
comfort of their homes, it is an awesome opportunity with benefits for everyone
which we are presenting to our customers in line with our customer 1st
Group Head, Marketing,
UBA Plc, Dupe Olusola said in addition to the 11 locations, the organisations
are looking to expand beyond the shores of Nigeria to other African countries
where UBA operates. She added that by the collaboration, the initiative will
help ease the burden off customers while also presenting them with
opportunities to excel beyond boundaries.


Google Station is a
simple set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots, and aims to provide fast and
reliable Wi-Fi in more places where more people spend time, such as bus
stations, shopping malls, airports and public transit stations.
the Wi-Fi service is available free of charge and partners leverage Google
Station’s business model, which enables venues, system integrators, businesses
and ISPs with access to fibre to setup, maintain and monetise their Wi-Fi
Google Nigeria’s
Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor noted that the institutions remained
focused on providing internet services to users for free.
She said, “With the
help of our partners, we are offering high-quality internet access in
heavily-trafficked areas like airports, markets, malls and bus stations
throughout the country, especially in areas where there were no internet
connections before.
 “Even with the
amazing progress on expanding mobile internet, we are finding that public Wi-Fi
remains a crucial step in getting free, high quality internet to everyone,” she
 Josh Woodward,
Director, Product Management, who spoke generally on the benefits of the
high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in public places said the collaboration will aim to
solve a basic need and allow customers access to connectivity to assist them in
their day-to-day businesses and activities.


 He said,
“Deploying Google Station in collaboration with UBA and 21st Century is an
important step to connecting the next billion users. As a result of the
locations enables us to be up-and-running in no time. Even more, their WiFi
signal ensures connectivity to Google Station hotspots so users can do a lot of
things online and be constantly connected.”



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