How To Let GSM Serve The People That Other Networks Can’t Reach

Mobile telephony has transformed access to communication in emerging markets.  In 1994, there were more telephone lines in New York City than in the whole of Africa.  These days, about two thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is covered by a mobile phone signal.  That’s an amazing and profound change yet there are still millions of people who don’t have access to mobile networks.

Village Telco and OpenBTS Networks: Technology Overview and Challenges

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Village Telco and OpenBTS are different technologies but they have a lot in common. One big thing they have in common is the belief that telephone networks don't need to be run by top-down command and control organisations, that anyone with some expertise and comparatively modest resources should be able to start their own phone company.
I'll give a brief summary of both and then explain the challenges that each face.

Mobile Phone Math: ICT4D Scale in the Millions

I’ve been working or interested in the space of ICT for Development (ICT4D) for about a decade now. During this time, I’ve seen a lot of exciting changes, but nothing has been exciting or frankly paradigm shifting as the wide spread growth of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks and emergence of applications that leverage the now ubiquitous mobile phone to deliver services by leveraging their ability to deliver and collect data.


Achieving limited scale, chasing sustainability

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