Isabelo Smart Bench Provides Free, Unlimited WiFi


Wesgro, in conjunction with the Cape Town Partnership, is proud to pilot the Isabelo Smart Bench – a stand-alone, entirely solar-powered free Wi-Fi hotspot for public use complete with USB charging points, night lighting and easy seating – on the corner of Adderley and Wale St in the Cape Town CBD.

This is another boost for the Cape as a world class tech hub, coming on the back of significant investment by the provincial government in fibre and wireless connectivity, as well as the City of Cape Town in investment in Africa’s largest open access fibre network, and free Wi-Fi in sites like the nearby Company Gardens.
A new user of the Smart Bench can connect to “Isabelo Free Wi-Fi” network to enjoy free, unlimited internet service with their smart phone or device, and charge their batteries at the free power point.

The Isabelo Smart Bench was invented by Louise Meek two years ago while she was studying for a Masters’ Degree in Urban Infrastructure Design and Management. She says “Isabelo aims to reduce the digital divide in African cities and create inclusive, vibrant public spaces where everyone feels welcome to sit down and get connected.”

Isabelo has joined with Cape Town Partnership and Wesgro to provide a Wi-Fi range of 15 metres around the bench with connection speeds of up to 10mbps.

Judy Lain, Chief Marketing Officer for Wesgro, believes Isabelo will generate real-time data from visitors and enable them to share information around events in the province.

“We can use these insights in our marketing strategies to develop campaigns that are highly effective and experiences that are sharable”, says Judy Lain. Bulelwa Makalima-Ngwewana, CEO of Cape Town Partnership said, “The public benefit of increased Internet access gets us, and our partners in the city, exited. Busier spaces are often safer and provide more opportunities for relationship building. The bench is an exciting experiment in placemaking.”

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