Wi-Frío: The Project to Take Free Internet Access to Rural Areas - FEMSA
Press Release

Wi-Frío: The Project to Take Free Internet Access to Rural Areas


  • HEINEKEN México, Coca-Cola FEMSA, and the Government of the State of Queretaro have joined efforts to increase connectivity and access to information by installing thirty coolers equipped with Wi-Fi devices, developed by Imbera, in thirty ‘tienditas de barrio’ (local corner shops).
  • This action’s pilot stage will last for nine months. It will seek to improve social and economic development through free internet access for more than 800,000 residents that lack this service in the State.

Querétaro, QRO. March 3, 2021. Imbera, HEINEKEN Mexico, Coca-Cola FEMSA, and the Government of Querétaro have announced the pilot project “Wi-Frío,” which gives free internet access to seventeen rural communities in the State. The initiative will install thirty coolers equipped with Wi-Fi devices in thirty ‘tienditas de barrio’ (local corner shops).

The initiative aims to reduce the digital gap in Mexico and offer connectivity to its rural zones. The alliance between these companies and the Government of Querétaro will allow state residents, through IoT devices that turn cell phone signal into Wi-Fi, to enjoy free internet access to inform and communicate themselves and carry out administrative procedures.

Sustainable Development Secretary Marco Antonio del Prete Tercero remarked that in 2020 he had authorized financial aid for 103 projects for 45.3 million pesos through the State Program for the Development of Technology and Innovation (PEDETI). This project to reduce the digital gap in their communities is included in the program.

“Querétaro is a pioneer in initiatives such as Wi-Frío, which brings together private sector and state government efforts to the benefit of the people of Querétaro,” he added.

According to the 2020 Mexican Census, surveyed by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the population of Queretaro is 2.3 million residents. However, only 64.4% of the total population of Querétaro has internet access. Furthermore, Querétaro has experienced a sharp increase in internet use (12 percentage points, from 2015 to 2018) in residents older than six years old.

“This initiative reflects our genuine interest in creating value for the communities where we have operations, with innovative projects that adapt themselves to the particular needs we are facing amid a health contingency,” said Germán Martínez, a corporate affairs officer at Coca-Cola FEMSA.

The internet access devices are equipped with a processor, Bluetooth modules, Wi-Fi, SIM card ports, and SD solid memory. These devices will be installed in thirty Coca-Cola FEMSA and Heineken Mexico coolers on March 17, 2021. They have a 30-meter network range; they have software that will allow users to use professional networks (not social), authorized websites, and local government portals.

“We have developed Web-Frío, a generation of coolers capable of providing free Wi-Fi access to contribute to the reduction of the digital gap in rural communities in Mexico. We expect that together with our business partners, we can take this initiative nationwide, benefiting thousands of residents,” detailed Felipe de Jesús Gutiérrez, Chief Data Officer at Imbera.

The “Wi-Frío” pilot stage will last nine months, during which the joint efforts of private and public sectors will contribute to the social and economic development of marginalized populations. The initiative will bring new opportunities to 800,000 residents because of access to internet services and, consequently, to information.

“We are convinced that ‘Wi-Frío’ will promote access to information and digital communications in rural areas. We will continue contributing to community programs that improve the quality of life for everybody. This proves that together we can make great projects possible”, concluded Gerardo Soria, Regional Director of Institutional Relations at Heineken MEXICO.

Devices installed in the coolers operate straightforwardly: they emit a free Wi-Fi signal that, upon access, sends users to an internet website where they receive authentication; then they receive a quick guide to allowed websites—including financial and educational institutions, email platforms, and Querétaro government websites.

According to Imbera, the Secretariat of Sustainable Development, the Querétaro Government, Coca-Cola FEMSA, and Heineken Mexico, internet access will allow for up to 10 simultaneous users, each with a 30-minute limit. This measure will benefit a greater number of residents in the municipalities of Amealco de Bonfil, Arroyo Seco, Cadereyta de Montes, Colón, Corregidora, El Doctor (Cadereyta), Ezequiel Montes, Huimilpan, Landa de Matamoros, Maconi (Cadereyta), Peña Blanca, Peña Miller, Pinal de Amoles, Portugués, San Joaquín, Tequisquiapan, and Tolimán.

About HEINEKEN México

It is a socially responsible company with more than 130 years in the market and as the choice of Mexicans. Founded in 1890, HEINEKEN Mexico is the brewery with the longest tradition in the country and, ever since joining HEINEKEN in May 2010, has become part of the most international brewery group. Through its sustainability strategy “Brindando un mundo mejor” (Providing a Better World”), they can positively impact the environment and the communities where it operates by way of continuous actions and emerging actions of solidarity such as “Por México, Por Todos” (For Mexico, For Everyone”), designed for various humanitarian circumstances. HEINEKEN Mexico has seven beer-producing plants and a malthouse where 16,000 employees committed to quality, creating the best experiences. Likewise, it has established itself as a multicategory brand by forming the broadest portfolio in the market, integrating brands of beer, cider, RTDs, and energy drinks. These are led by Heineken®️ beer, and the following brands: Tecate®️, Tecate Light ®️, Tecate Ámbar®, Dos Equis®️, Indio®️, Sol®️, Amstel ULTRA®️, Affligem®️, Bohemia®️, Miller Lite®️, Noche Buena®️, Coors Light®️, Carta Blanca®️, Superior®️, Kloster Light®️, Strongbow Apple Ciders®️, Apple Thief®️, Canijilla®️, Heineken® 0.0, Pura Piranha®️, and Solar Power®️. For more information, visit: https://heinekenmexico.com/

About Coca-Cola FEMSA

Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V. is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products globally by sales volume. The Company produces and distributes beverages under The Coca-Cola Company’s trademarks, offering a broad portfolio of 131 brands to more than 257 million consumers every day. With more than 83,000 employees, the Company markets and sells approximately 3.3 billion cases through 2 million points of sale per year. By operating 49 manufacturing plants and 275 distribution centers, Coca-Cola FEMSA is committed to generating economic, social, and environmental value for all its stakeholders throughout the value chain. FEMSA is member of the Dow Jones Sustainability MILA Pacific Alliance Index, the FTSE4Good Emerging Index, and the Mexican Stock Exchange Sustainable IPC, among other indexes evaluating sustainability performance. For more information, visit www.coca-colafemsa.com

About FEMSA Negocios Estrategicos

FEMSA Negocios Estratégicos is a group of companies comprised by Solistica, which offers logistics services; and by AlPunto, which provides point-of-sale refrigeration solutions and manufacturing expertise for food processing, conservation, and weighing equipment, in addition to plastics solutions for FEMSA companies and external clients through AlPunto Food Service (Imbera-Torrey), REPARE, Cooking Depot, and PTM. It has more than 29,000 employees.

Available documents

Get in Touch

Hanako Taniguchi
Press Relations at FEMSA

Eluyde Paulín
Head of Media at HEINEKEN México

Denisse García
Account Executive JeffreyGroup