Leading Latin American mobile publisher Movile is helping people connect with two Wi-Fi apps: Free Zone and WifiPass.
The first, Free Zone, scans for nearby free Wi-Fi networks and alerts users of their strength and proximity. Available for iOS and Android, it has received over seven million downloads. The second, WifiPass, connects with Facebook and allows users to share password-protected networks with selected friends. It is currently available for Android only.
Both apps are essential to Movile’s strategy of getting and keeping users connected through mobile devices, especially in Latin America. While smartphone adoption rates in the region, especially Brazil, are increasing at very high rates, connections are often limited. With Free Zone and WifiPass, Movile aims to solve this.
Fabrício Bloisi, CEO of Movile, discussed the situation and his company’s solutions in specific relation to Brazil:
While data networks in Brazil are evolving, we view Wi-Fi technology as extremely strategic for accessing internet with smartphones and tablets. Moreover, data plans are also quite inflexible when it comes to pricing and traffic limits. Applications like Free Zone and WifiPass have, therefore, a great amount of importance in increasing the number of mobile internet users in the country.
Over 110 million Brazilians are expected to join the mobile online community by 2015. In Latin America as a whole, that number is expected to reach over 830 million in 2016.
As mentioned, Free Zone is designed for open Wi-Fi networks, which it helps users locate and connect to with just one click. It also continues to search for open networks and connects automatically even when users have left the app, meaning continued connections to e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and more without using data plans.
Free Zone has already mapped over 200 million networks and located 12 million functioning open networks. The majority of its users – 70%, in fact – are based in Latin America. Bloisi remarked:
By offering Free Zone in the market, we provide people a safe and fast way to access the internet, thus guaranteeing them a complete experience when using their mobile phones and navigating content online. What’s more, Free Zone is a fundamental product for us to consolidate our objective of becoming the biggest creator and distributor of mobile services for smartphones.
Free Zone has proven highly successful in the Latin American market, but in the United States, where password-protected networks are more common, its solution has not been as prominent. This in mind, Movile has created WifiPass, through which users can share private networks with friends without revealing passwords.
Since its launch about a month ago, WifiPass has posted strong numbers, reaching a single-day high of 20,000 downloads. Movile has high expectations for the app in the United States and Latin America. Thanks to its integration with Facebook, WifiPass stands to do especially well in Brazil, where the social network is hugely popular.
Eduardo Henrique, head of U.S. operations for Movile, talked about the prospects:
Smartphones growth in Latin America is very important right now – we’re a tan inflection point. We’ve already introduced mobile connectivity to seven million users with our free Wi-Fi app, and we expect to see this number steadily growing. This Wi-Fi solution was so well-received that we decided to bring it to the U.S. as well – and it’s already seeing incredible organic downloads on Android, so we’re looking to bring it to iOS down the road as well.