Shares of Ruckus Wireless (NYSE:RKUS) jumped about 12% in Friday midday trading after media reports indicated that it would supply equipment for Airtel Africa’s plan to introduce Wi-Fi networks across 17 African countries.
Ruckus will reportedly provide high-traffic wireless access points to Airtel, which is owned by India’s Bharti Airtel group, GigaOM noted. Africa has relatively few 3G and 4G networks and Airtel will place Wi-Fi access points in shopping centers, airports, hotels and other public places to serve as a substitute for 3G/4G service.
The Airtel Wi-Fi network could ultimately include 100,000 access points.
Smartphone use is also constrained in Africa, relative to other regions around the world. However, that may grow with the spread of Wi-Fi enabled smartphones running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system.
Both Airtel and Ruckus declined comment to GigaOm on the report.