Wi-Fi comes to Samoan buses
For the very first time in Samoa, free Wi-Fi has been installed on buses. Two buses from Queen Poto now have routers for the free use of the internet.
These Wi-Fi routers were installed on the buses on Wednesday. Only two Queen Poto buses have these routers, the bus going to Faleolo and the one going to Motootua.
In an interview with Paulo Sala, driver of the Faleolo bus, he proudly said that Queen Poto is the first bus operators to have initiated such a thing.
"Queen Poto is the first bus company that has done something like this and it’s totally new to Samoa," he proudly said
" A lot of people know about this new service that we are now offering and I think it’s great. A passenger can hop on the bus with no credit or data, and they can just log in to the free Wi-Fi because we have the notice up here with the username and the password for everyone to see."
Paulo said that he is not able to use it because he is too busy driving the bus, however, it is open to anyone who hops on the bus.
"The Wi-Fi provides the fastest internet service. There’s no riding on the bus just to use the wifi. What the owners said was that there is not casual riding on the bus just for the use of the wifi," he laughs
According to Paulo, this new service is a partnership between Digicel and Queen Poto.
"There’s hardly anyone that hops on the bus to ride around for the Wi-Fi . What I saw though since we installed this on Wednesday were the students from Leulumoega fine arts using it all the way from Leulumoega to the market when they get off the bus," Paulo said
Teofilo Timo, the bus driver for the Moto'otua bus also said that people are not aware of this new service and he said that he constantly reminds his passengers about it when they hop on the bus.
"I don’t use the Wi-Fi because I don’t have a phone. I want to see it being used for maybe a week to determine if it’s really worth having it on the bus or if there would be any changes," he added
Teofilo said that he wants everyone to use but use it wisely.
"At the moment if I see that someone specifically young people, riding on the bus just to use the free Wi-Fi then I’ll chase them out. We want everyone to be able to use and everyone that hops on the bus to access it," he added
"I’ve noticed the old people they don’t really care what it is but I still let them know about the free Wi-Fi.
"I also see people who connect the minute they jump on the bus but there’s not many of them though."
A passenger on the Moto'otua bus was happily chatting on her phone after connecting to Wi-Fi, however, she refused to comment but she happily said over the phone: "I am calling you on the bus right now. We have free W-Fi on buses in Samoa now."
Jay Maugakai Keller, Digicel's marketing executive, said in a live video he posted that this is one way Digicel can help out Samoa.
"It’s our way of helping people who are struggling without any jobs connect with families locally and overseas at this difficult time due to COVID-19," he added
"Our service is now on a few buses, not all buses though. We have one at Moto’otua and another going to Faleolo."
Agnes Fruean, the Chief Operating Officer of Digicel Samoa said the initiative was designed to keep customers connected on the go.
Ms. Fruean said the company had approached Queen Poto about the Wi-Fi enabled buses, which they regarded as a trial with the possibility of further expansion.
Further information for interested customers can be obtained by calling 126.