Coca-Cola Putting WiFi Hotspots In Soda Machines (But Not In The U.S.)

In an effort to both bring WiFi to underserved areas and market its product to consumers, Coca-Cola South Africa is installing soda machines that also double as WiFi hotspots.

The Atlanta Business Journal reports that Coke has teamed up with BT Global to rig up the vending machines so that people in certain parts of the country can have free access to the Internet — if they’re near one of these Coke machines.

The partnership has launched pilot programs in Umtata in the Eastern Cape province and Nelspruit, in the Mpumalanga province.

The two sites chosen for the launch of the free WiFi service are near shopping centers and schools, says Coca-Cola.

There is no charge or purchase necessary to take advantage of the WiFi, though we wonder if unscrupulous scammers will try to take advantage of people who may not be very Internet savvy, setting up lookalike fake hotspots to steal data or install malware on users’ devices. This is a problem with all public WiFi service, not just hotspots attached to Coke machines.

Additionally, the announcement makes no mention of how much traffic these hotspots can handle.

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