ZOL, in conjunction with various coffee shops and hotels that have been labelled ZOLspots, is now offering services whereby customers can access the Internet using laptops and hand-held devices (cellphones) while enjoying a meal.

ZOL chief operating officer Caroline Mugwanyo said Wi-Fi has generated a lot of excitement since its introduction."We introduced Wi-Fi in the country two months ago. Initially, the response was slow but now it is overwhelming. We have a large number of establishments requesting to become partners," she said.

Already a number of establishments have taken advantage of Wi-Fi connectivity which are private Wi-Fi networks that run with ZOL's technical support. ZOL applauded Wi-Fi's high download speeds as faster than normal dial-up connections.

"Wi-Fi uses speeds of up to 256K on a high-speed low contention broadband link. This translates to speed eight times faster than a standard dial-up connection," said Mugwanyo.

ZOL account executive Harry Harrison revealed that Wi-Fi was also available to individuals intending to install it in their homes or offices. "Wi-Fi is available to individuals, but the only difference is that they would have to purchase the equipment unlike the ZOLspots with whom we enter into partnership," he said.

Explaining how the system operates, Harrison said: "A browser purchases a voucher at any ZOLspot and gets access immediately. Vouchers are good for anything from 15 minutes to two months," he said. ZOL is also set to access other areas in the country with Bulawayo and Mutare already up and running.

(SOURCE: The Herald)