It is estimated that by 2020, total public wifi hotspots will grow to 432.5 million globally. Despite this growth, only around one in ten African households had internet access in 2015, compared with over 80% of European countries. Wifi access has become part of our daily lives, yet 76% of us frequently find ourselves in a position where Wifi access is not available, or where access is blocked by a demand for payment.
Thankfully, innovative companies are finding ways to hyperdrive global growth and adoption. One of these startups, OPP Open Wifi will recruit over 25 million people in the next four years as “Hotspot Hosts”, helping bring connectivity to the world. Arguably even more impressive is a blockchain-backed tokenization structure that will incentivize users. By using OPP Open Wifi’s app and a company-provided router, hosts will be onboarded. For the first 100,000 users, routers will be provided for free.
OPP Open Wifi’s CEO, Martin Regan, took some time to explain the business model, upcoming token sale, and his inspiration for the project.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started in blockchain?
I think, like most of us, I have been aware of Bitcoin for several years without understanding what it is or what it did. As I became more aware and grasped the concept of decentralization and disruption, I started to become fascinated not just by BTC but then by the Crypto market in general. In my day-to-day business, we carry out many tasks for our customers, each task being defined, the successful completion of each task then implying a payment from each customer. For me, smart contracts and transactional security offered by Blockchain was truly a “Ding dong “ moment.
2. What was your inspiration behind OPP Open Wifi? How did it all start?
The event that triggered my imagination and brought home to me what an epic cultural and fiscal revolution we as a global society are embarking upon was the launch of Electroneum.
When I realized the scale of their ambition to provide an alternative “bank account” with the ability to make purchases available to every smartphone holder on the planet amazed me. I was not excited by how fast blockchain and crypto transactions might be – don’t get me wrong, I am now! – but I was amazed that with no intervention or blocking from governments, institutions, etc., Richard Ells and his team were able to positively affect the lives of millions upon millions of people all over the globe.
I bought into ETN right away – not to make a fast buck but because I feel what they are doing is important, is the future, empowers individuals, and improves life quality. I am most definitely a HODL’R!
3. What is your competitive advantage?
We have a head start. We have been actively providing this wifi hotspot tech solution to our customers for several years. Where our tech team has been especially innovative is developing the app for mobile devices. With this, it is only a matter of time before the decentralized global wifi hotspot is actively providing an amazing service. No contracts, no fees, just safe secure access for everyone. Similar to ETN, our project is going to achieve ubiquity. Sooner or later, all Smartphone devices will carry our tech or something similar.
4. What is the biggest problem currently in the market?
The biggest problem we deal with is faced by pretty much all of us on a daily basis. I would say that next to being at the back of a long queue this must be the most frustrating thing that commonly happens to us – almost every day, almost all of us will at some point not be able to access the internet. There are many reasons why we might be unable to access the web.
Whatever the reason is that you cannot access it – we take it away – very soon, wherever you are, you will always be able to log on to OPP OPEN WIFI. When you see OPP OPEN WIFI then you know that someone close by is part of our community and is being rewarded for sharing their unused data with you.
How refreshing is that – a genuine win-win – no barriers to the web, and the hosts get rewarded for doing the right thing!
When Tim Berners-Lee developed the web, he made it a gift to humanity, free for everyone to benefit from. Well, it’s not quite free right now. We all have to pay either mobile phone bills or ISP bills for our home or work in order to get access. There’s no way around it. Providing access requires those suppliers to have an infrastructure and that means they have a cost. What we can do as a global community is put that money back into your pockets.
Not only will our global community provide free to access decentralised internet access for everyone, but we will also provide a financial reward for those that help us make it happen. This is a hugely important project which will have a positive impact on hundreds of millions of people daily.
5. What does 2018 have in store for you guys?
The remainder of 2018 is going to be pretty full! We are all very excited. The key points what want to have finished by the end of the year is to get us active on 10 of the most trusted exchange platforms, to have our online mall operational and fully populated with a stellar cast of the world’s favorite retailers, to have the OPP credit card ready for integration amongst our community and most importantly to continue to develop our tech so that it can withstand the huge volume of traffic we anticipate. It’s going to be fun. Chaos at times – but deeply satisfying to bring OPP OPEN WIFI to life.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.