Nokia today announced at MWC 2019 that it is joining Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner ecosystem, expanding its participation in Facebook Connectivity’s initiatives. The Nokia AirScale Wi-Fi platform will be available to CSPs and ISPs that are participating in Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi initiative, enabling them to provide quality internet access to customers in emerging markets. First deployments are expected to occur in 2019.
Approximately 3.8 billion people worldwide don’t have access to internet connectivity. Nokia is already collaborating with Facebook Connectivity to help develop technologies for Terragraph, Open Cellular, Open Transport Networks, and rural access.
With today’s announcement, Nokia becomes an Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner, joining the Facebook partner ecosystem program that allows network equipment manufacturers to build network hardware and software that is compatible with Express Wi-Fi. Nokia will provide its carrier-grade AirScale Wi-Fi platform with a cloud-based Wi-Fi controller and multiple plug-n-play Wi-Fi access point products and modules. The Nokia AirScale Wi-Fi platform makes gigabit Wi-Fi simple to deploy and enables service providers without licensed spectrum to deliver a mobile-like customer experience.
Express Wi-Fi is a platform that enables service providers and mobile network operators to build, operate, grow, and monetize internet access over Wi-Fi in a sustainable and scalable way. Through this program, service providers and operators partner with local communities and local entrepreneurs to extend Wi-Fi coverage, providing people with fast, affordable, and reliable access to the internet over Wi-Fi. Today, the Express Wi-Fi program is available in Ghana, India, Nigeria, Kenya, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Indonesia.
Dan Rabinovitsj, Vice President of Facebook Connectivity, said: “We are especially pleased to welcome Nokia into our Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner program, as they are a much-valued technical partner in our Facebook Connectivity initiatives. The AirScale portfolio of Wi-Fi products will be a strong addition to the program and will help to bring affordable Wi-Fi solutions to emerging markets.”
Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise and Chief Strategy Officer, said: “We share Facebook’s commitment to bring connectivity to the many people of our world who, for reasons of affordability or lack of infrastructure, have no access to internet services. We are pleased to add our AirScale Wi-Fi platform to the Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner program and look forward to further collaborations with Facebook and its partners to create innovative technologies that help people connect.”