Social network to roll out 20,000 Express WiFi hotspots in partnership with Bharti Airtel.

Facebook’s initiative announced this week that its Express WiFi service has gone live in India.

Express WiFi is a low-cost hotspot service that offers daily, weekly or monthly access passes from retailers at low prices. It is pitched as complementary to mobile data services.

On Thursday, Facebook revealed that it has launched 700 Express WiFi hotspots in four Indian states – Uttarakhand, Gujurat, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya – in partnership with local ISPs and 500 local retailers.

The world’s largest social network has also partnered with Bharti Airtel to deploy another 20,000 Express WiFi hotspots over the coming months.

"We are delighted to be a part of this initiative to provide affordable access to high-speed data to users across India, particularly the underserved segment," said Ajai Puri, COO, India and South Asia, at Bharti Airtel.

"We believe this will help in empowering millions of Indians by bringing them online, and contribute to the government’s Digital India vision," he said.