On the topic of using GSM networks for more than voice, our project in
Uganda is now underway. This is a pilot combining the GSM service with
handheld computers and an access point that will allow us to create a
store and forward data network for health workers. For more information
see <http://pda.healthnet.org/>.

Obviously, it remains important to stay open to all possibilities - but
to keep the focus on content. What we are communicating will dictate the
most effective means. Something might be urgent and be best communicated
by a phone call. It might be a short statement best served by an SMS
message. Perhaps it is a longer document with less urgency - in which
case we can use a store and forward system like that we are using in
Uganda to consolidate the traffic from many users in one phone to a
central server call during a non-peak periods. In designing such systems
it is important to focus on integration and on open source solutions
where possible so that we don't end up with multiple incompatible and
expensive systems.

Holly Ladd
Executive Director

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