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Meta Ends Express Wi-Fi Program Based on Israeli Tech

Express Wi-Fi

The Express Wi-Fi Program, which was operated by Meta to bring more Internet access to Third World nations, is being shut down. The company announced its plans to end the effort at the end of the year after more than five years in operation.

The program was based on technology developed by the Israeli startup Snaptu which was bought out by Facebook, now Meta, in 2011. Snaptu was a free app platform that ran on virtually every type of Internet-enabled mobile phone. It allowed the user to access popular services, varying from social networks Picasa to entertainment news, blogs, sports and local guides. Facebook incorporated the tech into the Express Wi-Fi Program.

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“Express Wi-Fi is designed to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content,” Munish Seth, Facebook’s head of connectivity solutions for Asia-Pacific, said in a statement released at the time that the program was first being unveiled.

In a blog post, Meta stated, “Together with our partners, we helped expand public Wi-Fi access for people in more than 30 countries via the Express Wi-Fi platform. While we are concluding our work on this program to focus on developing other projects, we remain committed to working with partners across the telecom ecosystem to deliver better connectivity.”

Launched in 2016, Express Wi-Fi was a platform developed by Meta Connectivity that enabled mobile and satellite operators and internet service providers to “build, grow and monetize” their Wi-Fi businesses in a sustainable and scalable way, while providing their customers with fast, affordable and reliable internet access over Wi-Fi.

Meta went on to promise that as the company concludes its work on the program, “we’ll work closely with Express Wi-Fi partners to help minimize the impact to their businesses and their customer’s connectivity.



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