The telecom and internet industries are plagued with issues in the current Web2 system. These problems are further exacerbated with the dismal state of Africa’s internet architecture. 3air hopes to revolutionize these systems in African cities with the use of wireless mesh technology, with subscriptions provided through NFTs. These NFTs will also help bankless Africans receive DeFi services with the goal of empowering them to connect to the global economy.
3air aims to build a long range seamless internet system using K3’s Last Mile wireless mesh system. The company will build base centers all over the continent, and as these centers have a fifty kilometer range, they will cover even the most remote areas of the continent. This technology is already in widespread use across three different continents, including Africa itself. The two companies are already partnered, and plan on installing these stations beginning in 2023.
This internet service will be provided through the use of NFTs as a subscription. This format of subscription service is superior to Web2’s version for a multitude of reasons. Customers own their subscription, giving them the ability to sell their service on a decentralized market, transfer the service to another individual as desired, and let customers reserve their financial data to prevent it from being sold on their behalf. Web3 subscriptions prevent give true power to the customer for them to use their service as they see fit. These NFTs will also provide other 3air services, such as microfinancing and cryptocurrency wallets.
Technology of this caliber is desperately needed in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a digital divide in the continent due to the lack of proper hardware; most mobile towers are either 2G or 3G. Of the 73% of the population that do have access to cellular subscriptions, these towers mean that only 20% of those users have access to the internet. Additionally, network cables are difficult to install in Africa’s larger cities, as they were never built with the intention of putting them in in the first place. 3air’s plan to install wireless mesh centers avoids these issues entirely.
With these internet services being provided across the continent, 3air aims to assist the unbanked population of Africa. 57% of Africans do not have access to a banking system, whether online or on the ground. The lack of these services means more than half of the population cannot access banking or checking accounts, receive loans of any amount, or transfer money between themselves and others. With the advent of widespread internet services, Africans can use 3air’s blockchain to receive microloans and make cryptocurrency wallets, giving them a form of checking and savings accounts.
These services need to be quick and inexpensive. 3air is using the SKALE blockchain for this exact reason. This blockchain has low gas fees, the main barrier of entry to Web3, and expedient process times; both of which scale exceptionally well; making it perfect for a budding internet service on the African continent. With proven technologies and a public roadmap, the company will begin rolling out services as construction begins in 2023.