Developing Smart public Wi-Fi in South Africa

Christopher Geerdts

There are various models of public Wi-Fi in South Africa, but in early 2016 only two (Gauteng and Western Cape) have implemented assessable initiatives. These are the wealthiest provinces and are highly urbanised, Gauteng almost entirely. The four largest metropolitan areas: Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni (in Gauteng), and Cape Town (in Western Cape) have projects.

FPW projects typically emanate from authorities with broadband development strategies and with plans in place as is the case in Gauteng and the Western Cape. Most of the FPW plans are connected to initiatives to connect government buildings via fibre networks.

The different approaches to the government- funded Tshwane Free Wi-Fi project and the Western Cape’s free Wi-Fi public-private and public community initiatives are the focus of this study. Not only were they already the most advanced at the start of this study, but they also exhibit different approaches, business models and funding arrangements.

This policy paper was prepared by Christopher Geerdts with Dr Alison Gillwald, Dr Enrico Calandro, Chenai Chair, Mpho Moyo and Broc Rademan.

Suggested citation

Geerdts, C. (2016). Developing Smart public Wi-Fi in South Africa. Research ICT Africa.