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Nokia "wireless village" in Eastern Cape

Rhodes University and the university of Fort Hare Dwesa Project, often mentioned on these pages, is most likely to be bolstered by a new arrival on the scene. The Nokia "wireless village" is a ultra-low cost GSM mobile base station with a radius of about 10 kilometres. The business model is that an operator runs such a wireless village allowing free calls within the cell and charging very little for calls between such cells. Calls out of the operators low cost network are charged at regular rates. The concept is on trial in various parts of Africa. On my visit to the Meraka Institute in June, I first heard of the "wireless village" and that it had been rolled out in Mozambique and other places in Africa, and that an installation or two were coming Meraka's way. Owing to Rhodes' close links to COFISA (Cooperation Framework on Innovation Systems between Finland and South Africa - think COoperation-Finnland-SA), they managed to attract some of the wireless village to the former Transkei - congratulations!!
The Dwesa Project gains momentum with this addition of essential high-tech gadgetry. Mobile technology is the way to quickly roll-out applications in Africa, and we are going to be concentrating more on software for mobiles at eKhaya ICT (more about that later...).

Posted: October 10th 2007 07:27
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