Mobile content company Movile has over the last several years distributed content and applications for a primarily Latin American audience. But what happens when a mobile user isn’t connected to a wireless data network? To help solve this problem, Movile has introduced a pair of applications that will help users connect to free Wi-Fi networks.
The apps are named Free Zone and WifiPass, and both are designed to let users know when they’re near Wi-Fi hotspots that they’re able to connect to. But they differ in that Free Zone focuses on connections to open public hotspots, while WifiPass enables users to more easily get access to networks which are password-protected.
Movile is increasingly making its products available in other markets, such as the U.S. and Europe. Take, for instance, the launch of Zeewee TV, a Facebook-based video app for viewing Spanish-language television content. Bringing Free Zone and WifiPass to a global market is just one more way that Movile is seeking to connect with users even if they’re not based in Latin America.
Already, Free Zone has been wildly popular in Latin America, drawing more than 7 million users in its home market, without really marketing it elsewhere. The app scans for networks and alerts users when they’re near open Wi-Fi networks that they can freely connect to with a single tap.
The number of smartphone users is rapidly growing in the region, but wireless data access is still spotty and can be expensive. Free Zone enables users with Wi-Fi-capable devices to gain access to the Internet without having to pay outrageous fees to do so. Eduardo Henrique, head of U.S. operations for Movile, says that more than 7.2 million free Wi-Fi access points are available on the app. And, well, the more users who are connected to the Internet, the more users there will be looking at Movile content.
Anyway, that’s great for the Latin American market, but in other places around the world, people can be a little more protective of their Wi-Fi networks. With that in mind, Movile has released WifiPass, a more U.S.-centric app that connects with Facebook and allows its users to share password-protected Wi-Fi hotspots with their friends. The app works by allowing users to connect without having to jot down and manually enter SSID and passwords. It also allows users to save Wi-Fi network info and connect to them later.