We announced yesterday the launch of a new model for internet points which could revolutionize its kind in Africa. In an environment in which internet points are having trouble paying their electricity bills, the connection costs are sometimes prohibitive and the equipment quickly obsolete, TabletCafé, located in the Medina neighborhood, offers an unexpected solution: provide Android tablets to clients instead of Desktop computers.
For 300 FCFA, the customer can browse the internet for an hour on a Nexus 10 tablet. As he/she arrives, he/she will provide his ID card or passport (for security purposes) and when the allocated time is over, a ring will come from the device. In the respect of the users’ privacy, the tablets will receive a factory reset after each use so that the next user will not know what was done by the one that came before.
The innovative concept has mixed reactions so far
While some are happy with the innovation, others are putting forward the cost of maintenance for the tablets which will be harder to repair in comparison to desktop computers. In case of a breakdown, very few services would be capable of ensuring the repair of the devices which are still reserved to an elite on the continent. The tablets’ screens can break much more easily than those of a Desktop. Some have also questioned the reasoning behind leaving an ID for the use of the devices.
We actually think that TabletCafé was a strike of genius by Medoune, the owner of the structure. The tablets provided in the café are of a higher quality than what most Senegalese netizens would make use of. Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail, Seneweb, Facedakar and Youtube are the most visited sites in most internet points, according to many owners. A tablet cheaper than the Nexus would also do the trick. Savings are made on the wiring as well as electricity bills and there you have a good mix to keep internet points up to date.
What do you think of it? You can watch the introductory video of TabletCafé HERE