FireChat to provide French Polynesia with free communications independent of traditional networks

Open Garden said it has partnered with the city of Arue, the Minister of Digital Strategy and Smart Tahiti Networks (STN), to deploy an island-wide mesh network that works independently of cell networks and Internet connections.

Open Garden is the creator of FireChat, a mobile app that works without access to the Internet or cell networks.

Citizens of French Polynesia can now communicate with each other for free, using just their phones and without the need for a data plan or an Internet connection. They can send encrypted private messages or public messages visible by all the members of the community in real time. By connecting the phones directly with one another through peer-to-peer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, FireChat enables people to create their own network, a “People´s Network.”

Smart Tahiti Networks is a new generation network operator dedicated to offer the most innovative and affordable telecommunication platform to all French Polynesian Citizens. The company launched in 2013 under the NiuTV brand, the first Polynesian hybrid OTT video platform optimized for bandwidth constrained markets. In 2015, the company decided to extend the platform capabilities and focus on offering a sustainable communication and service infrastructure to imagine and develop new local services.

Open Garden Inc. is a San Francisco-based startup dedicated to connecting the next 5 billion mobile devices with peer-to-peer connections. Open Garden won an Innovation Award at SXSW 2015. FireChat is the first messaging app that works-off-the-grid. FireChat is free and available for iOS and Android devices. Launched in March 2014, FireChat has reached the top 10 amongst social networking apps in 124 countries around the world.