A tech start-up company, Wi-Fi Interactive Network, is planning to roll out free Wi-Fi services using small convenience stores or “sari-sari stores” across the Philippines. According to Philip Zulueta, the President and Founder of Wi-Fi Interactive Network, they are now testing the technology in Metro Manila.
The start-up company Wi-Fi Interacive Network tests their latest technology in several bars and restaurants in Metro Manila before introducing the free Wi-Fi services in various sari-sari stores nationwide.
Wi-Fi Interactive Network recently won seed funding from technology giant Microsoft to use sari-sari stores as Wi-Fi hotspots by using TV White Space technology, or the frequency of unused TV channels.
Zulueta also noted that the advantage of using broadcast TV frequency for Wi-Fi is its capability to provide signal within 10 kilometers, compared to Wi-Fi’s range of 600 feet only.
The company also revealed to the media that the service is at no cost to sari-sari stores because the free Wi-Fi services will be bundled with products sold at the stores.
Based on the plans of the start-up company, if you buy a sachet of shampoo, for example, it will come with 30-minute Wi-Fi service. The main issue in the Philippines is “affordability” because the internet access in the Philippines is indeed expensive.
The company headed by Zulueta is planning to launch the service in hundreds of sari-sari stores this year 2016. Around 10,000 stores are expected to use the service within the next three years.