Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi Gets a Major Push in India Through BSNL Backhaul Partnership

In a bid to give a major push to Express WiFi service in India, Facebook has joined hands Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for backhaul bandwidth connectivity at preferential rates for its Internet service provider (ISP) partners.

Both the companies entered into a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday on the same. Notably, the social networking major is already working with Airtel Africa to deploy fibre connectivity backhaul in Uganda.

The new partnership in India follows Facebook’s recent tie-up with India’s leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel for the deployment of 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country to provide affordable high-speed Internet via Express Wi-Fi service.

Express Wi-Fi is part of Facebook’s global initiative to spread internet connectivity. It started testing Express Wi-Fi in India in 2015 and, working with internet services providers (ISPs) and over 500 local entrepreneur-retailers.


Facebook has made the service commercially available through nearly 700 hotspots across the four Indian states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya. Express Wi-Fi is currently live in five countries—India, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Express Wi-Fi has been deployed in partnership with ISPs AirJaldi in Uttarakhand, LMES in Rajasthan, Tikona in Gujarat, and soon with Shaildhar in Meghalaya.

Anyone can access the Express Wi-Fi network by signing up with an Express Wi-Fi retailer and purchasing a daily, weekly or monthly data pack at a rate set by our partners. They will then be able to connect to the Express Wi-Fi hotspot, register/create an account, log in and start browsing or use any app on the entire internet.

“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,” Facebook had recently said.

The state-run telecom has inked partnerships with Mobikwik and Data Infosys. Under the partnership, MobiKwik wallet app will come preload in all BSNL powered mobile handsets, while Data Infosys will allow BSNL to offer bulk secured email services to enterprises.

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3 Comments on "Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi Gets a Major Push in India Through BSNL Backhaul Partnership"


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sai charan kv
May 17, 2017 9:44 pm 9:44 PM

what is the agreement already airtel got wifi choice for FB and only bandwidth is given by bsnl bcoz they are not having sufficient ofc cables to provide, it is better to be part of bsnl wifi’s program and provide it as a promotion for rural in the name of FB

May 17, 2017 10:37 pm 10:37 PM

in india any company or isp’s can’t promote specific internet service or website if They do , its Purely against Net neutrality law. So Facebook can’t promote their service alone that’s why Facebook indirectly Promote their service in the name of express wi-fi

May 18, 2017 8:12 am 8:12 AM

Yep. This program gives access to Facebook and a few other websites that Facebook approved/partnered with – without paying for the internet. Facebook is doing this because ‘most’ people who use internet already use facebook. So they want even more users to expand their network (and thus, get more info about people and sell the info to advertisers)

When you access any other website not in the list, you are asked to pay.