Technology Salon

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Posts Tagged ‘rural’

  • Electrical Power is No Longer a Problem in ICT4D

    San Francisco | By on March 4, 2013 | Comments Off on Electrical Power is No Longer a Problem in ICT4D

    It was not long ago that electrical power was the largest barrier to using ICTs in rural areas. Back when desktop computers had big CRT screens, each computer needed 150-200 watts of power. Just turning on a computer required a costly generator and an inverter.

  • There needs to be a micro mobile telco solution, an entrepreneur-led, small-scale business model to deliver connectivity to rural or underserved areas not seen as commercially viable by large GSM providers.

    rural micro mobile telco
    Rural mobile phone entrepreneurs

    In this model, voice communication is the original “killer app” – the key functionality that drives early and widespread adoption and revenue. But should broadband data also be provided, even if there isn’t obvious demand?
    Broadband data connectivity is needed for many applications in virtually every development sector, from e-government to e-health, and is often central to any educational intervention. And as mobile carrier backhauls are almost always IP networks, the technology it there.

    In fact, there was also consensus that technology was not the main micro mobile telco constraint – costs and functionality continue to develop to the advantage of potential effective solutions like WiFi mesh networks, WiMax technology, and GSM infrastructure.

  • Designing a Micro Mobile Telco: April Technology Salon

    Washington DC | By on March 20, 2009 | Comments Off on Designing a Micro Mobile Telco: April Technology Salon

    Mobile phones are an amazing success story in the developing world, bringing transformative opportunities to many underserved communities. But they do not reach out to remote rural villages – where there is demand and purchasing power, albeit limited – and a scaleable micro mobile teclo solution could transform communications and development for the poorest of the poor.

    rural micro mobile telco
    Rural communications entrepreneurs exist

    So what might be the business and technology models that would allow entrepreneurs to roll out mobile phone systems to these underserved communities? And could development organizations play a role?

    Which technology would be best: GSM? WiFi? WiMax? What’s the business case: Handset sales? Subscriptions? Airtime Only? Could voice services be augmented with data? Even broadband? How might an entrepreneur serve 400 customers at $10 per month revenue or $48,000 per annum? And should aid organizations seed these businesses?

    Join David Ferguson, for a lively discussion of possible micro mobile telco models and expect to hit the whiteboards with your ideas.

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  • Fighting Terrorism with ICT: December Technology Salon

    Washington DC | By on December 11, 2008 | Comments Off on Fighting Terrorism with ICT: December Technology Salon

    In northern Mali, out beyond the famously remote Timbuktu, distances are vast and communication difficult. National borders often are less than lines in the sand, and the rule of law just a vague idea. In this power vacuum, bandits still hijack convoys, Tuareg stage rebellions, and terrorist organizations can take root and train.


    Communicating community security

    Yet one brave organization is connecting remote Malian communities to reduce the threat of banditry or worse. Geekcorps Mali is building links between caravans, villagers, and local government – with information and communication technologies.

    Geekcorps Mali has developed an innovative ICT intervention that marries FM radio broadcasting with Internet-enabled computers and digital audio recording to give a voice to local communities. The radio stations have become beacons of objective information and a de-facto early warning system for northern Mali and even the country as a whole.