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Smartvillage-Connectivity-Case-Study

The last mile problem

Many African nations suffer from the last mile problem: the cost of delivering connectivity to remote regions (where most people live) is just not worth it for traditional telcos.

Globally, this has left an estimated 4 billion people without reliable access to the internet, deepening the digital divide and worsening disparity.

Introducing the World Mobile Smart Village

Set deep in the heart of a National Park, this small but bustling fishing village is home to around 200 people.

Only accessible via dusty dirt tracks, perilously perched on the banks of meandering streams, its homes are built on stilts to evade the effects of seasonal floods.

The fishermen, whose hand-woven nets are cast from red sunrise to purple sunset, are hours from the nearest town where they can conduct their business. The same journey made by those who need to access basic healthcare and government services, and to simply check their messages.

This village was left offline because it is not viable for legacy mobile operators to connect them. But this is where we’re different.

The World Mobile solution

The World Mobile Chain is a cost-effective and sustainable solution to bring even the most isolated of areas online.

Combining blockchain technology with renewable energy and unlicensed spectrums, we allow anyone to own and operate the key elements of our network and get connected.

Here’s how we did it in our Smart Village.

The installation

  • Foundations are set and let dry overnight.
  • Solar panels and rechargeable batteries are installed.
  • The WMC Air Node is connected to the local partner’s equipment which is erected along with a streetlight.
  • The exchange box is configured.
  • This is connected to backhaul infrastructure.
  • The World Mobile network is up and running.

How it works

World Mobile’s local partner network centre utilises existing fibre capacity until around 65km from the village. From there, spare wireless spectrum is used to create a point to point link to the village via 2 hops.

In the village, a radio link connects to the router. The router then connects to an Access Point device connected to a WMC Air Node.

This Access Point uses WiFi to allow people to connect their phone to the World Mobile network.

Outside of our network coverage, a SIM card will provide competitive rates on their calls, texts and data.

Online, for the first time

Villagers will be able to top up credit in the local shop, enabling them to make low cost local and international calls via the World Mobile application.

They can use data to access social media, world news and use messaging services like WhatsApp and Messenger.

Fishermen can send pictures of their catch to buyers in town, and arrange deals without even having to leave the village.

What’s more, as the Air Node will be owned by the village, a percentage of the revenue generated from calls, texts and data will be shared with the community and back into the local economy.

But it doesn’t end there

Connectivity is just one part of the path to digital inclusion. Those that live in the Smart Village now have the freedom to explore the social and economic benefits of having local internet. From developing online businesses, to accessing education and mobile banking, they can discover the opportunities that those in the cities take for granted.

Let's bring the whole world online.

Billions of people don’t have internet. By using unlicensed spectrum, blockchain technology and telecoms wizardry, we’re changing that.