Polyamory isn’t for everybody. Well… by definition it could be, but in this case we’re specifically talking about the new relationship between Vodacom Business, WiTaxi and Netstar. The end goal of this partnership is to bring free WiFi to South Africa’s taxi industry.
Good things come in threes
The idea is a simple one. Vodacom provides the WiFi, Netstar provides trackers for taxis (that double as routers) and WiTaxi brings the app that ties it all together. The point is to give passengers a chance to make something of a journey that would have otherwise been spent in the clutches of boredom.
Considering that nearly 60% of South Africa’s residents travel by taxi, this is quite the undertaking – for both Netstar and Vodacom. Besides collecting a Scrooge-sized pile of money, Vodacom is using its power for good. As Vodacom Business CEO William Mzimba puts it; “This partnership speaks to how Vodacom Business can empower people through technology solutions that drive progress and inspire innovation.”
At the time of writing, Netstar already has over 3,200 of its “telematics devices” – otherwise known as ‘trackers’ – installed in Toyota taxis. Netstar believes that the service has the potential of connecting to 48,000 taxis in total.
What are you waiting for?
Keep in mind; this isn’t some unlimited wealth of WiFi to be abused. There are limits, and there are conditions. First, is the requirement of the WiTaxi app on the device you’re looking to connect. Sign up, connect, and you’ll occasionally be plagued by 15-second ads that ‘unlock’ access to the WiFi. After that, you’re only restricted by the 1GB/day limit that’s applied to each device.
In a bid to continue its path of goodness, the mobile operator has expressed an interest in introducing a rewards system for customers that just use the free WiFi. In Vodacom’s words, “This will allow commuters to access a rich network of content, help simplify their lives through cashless transactions, and let them complete daily chores, while being rewarded for it.”
*It’s ‘free’ in the sense that you don’t pay for it with money.