Microsoft Launches Internet Bundle Devices

University and Polytechnic students in Ghana will now get high speed and affordable Internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when they purchase the new Internet-enabled Microsoft device. This is after Spectra Wireless and Microsoft 4Afrika launched Africa's first commercial service network utilising TV white spaces in Ghana. The General Manager, Africa Initiative at Microsoft, Mr Fernando de Sousa, told the Daily Graphic that the commercial service built on the success of the initial TV white spaces pilot launched in May 2014. Spectra Wireless is the first company in Africa to offer a consumer broadband Internet access service leveraging TV white space technology. "Research by the Wi-Fi Alliance in the United States has revealed that 90 per cent of students view access to Wi-Fi as critical to their success," Mr de Sousa said. “High speed broadband offers students and teachers a way to access learning resources from all over the world, equalising the divide between developed and developing nations. While the initial pilot project in Ghana offered wireless broadband to universities, this new commercial service allows students to have their own Internet bundles, determine their own usage and purchase an Internet-enabled device for anytime, anywhere access and enhanced productivity." As part of the commercial pilot service, university students can purchase high speed Internet bundles, use relevant applications including Microsoft Office 365 and the Microsoft Virtual Academy as well as apply for zero-interest loans in partnership with UT Bank to purchase selected Internet-enabled Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell and HP devices. "We are breaking away from the standard way of selling Internet services in Africa," Mr Sam Darko, Country Leader of Spectra Wireless, said, adding that, "Everyone wants and needs access to the Internet, but there are very few, if any, reliable, unlimited and affordable solutions for the masses. Our complete service for the tertiary education sector provides just that, and together with the application bundles and affordable devices, we offer a complete technology upgrade to participating institutions. This service will transform education in Africa." The cheapest data package starts at just GH¢2 per day and provides 24 hours of access.