Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Improving Access Via Mobile Telephony

2003-11-25 Thread Cressman, Gordon M.
Concerning Al Hammond's remarks below, we all know that GSM cellular
networks and prepaid cards have resulted in affordable voice
communications for communities without adequate wired services. It is
true these networks can also be used for low-speed data transmission. I
have used existing cellular networks in Uganda to transmit HIV/AIDS
survey data within the country. The total cost of the additional
hardware and software required is perhaps less than USD $300.

-gmc
Gordon M. Cressman
Director, ICT Programs, International Development Group
RTI International


Al Hammond [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 I think William Lester and Fola Odufuwa are pointing out something
 important--the potential of cellular networks to provide data
 connectivity inexpensively, if imperfectly. As converged devices
 proliferate and newer network technologies spread to developing
 countries, these problems will ease--and in the meantime, the installed
 user base is more than twice that of the Internet and growing more
 rapidly. Phones already have the potential to provide secure ID
 (combining voice and face recognition at the server level), and can
 serve as powerful transaction platforms (see the current
 micro-entrepreneur reseller activity with Smart Buddy in the
 Phillipines.) Whether WiFi-like or cellular solutions are most feasible
 may depend as much on the regulatory environment (what's legal) and on
 the openness to innovation in cellular providers.




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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Improving Access Via Mobile Telephony

2003-11-25 Thread Holly Ladd
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
SATELLIFE




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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Improving Access Via Mobile Telephony

2003-11-25 Thread S Woodside
The regulatory environment is very poor for Wi-Fi in developing
countries. Please refer to the growing list of countries and their
regulations here:

http://openict.net/projects/openspectrum/

(choose ByCountry)

The reality on the ground is that MOST developing countries do NOT
have the proper regulations to make Wi-Fi possible. They need to issue
Open Spectrum licenses (for free use of the correct spectrum) but have
not done so yet. This situation is taken advantage of by the incumbent
telephone companies who in many cases use the lack of proper regulation
to shut down inexpensive, open, and often free Wi-Fi systems ... because
they see them as competition.

For those of you who may have the ability to influence policy ... more
open spectrum licenses are needed in developing countries ...

simon


On Friday, November 21, 2003, Al Hammond wrote:

 Whether WiFi-like or cellular solutions are most feasible
 may depend as much on the regulatory environment (what's legal) and on
 the openness to innovation in cellular providers.

--
   anti-spam: do not post this address publicly
www.simonwoodside.com -- 99% Devil, 1% Angel




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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Improving Access Via Mobile Telephony

2003-11-21 Thread Al Hammond
I think William Lester and Fola Odufuwa are pointing out something
important--the potential of cellular networks to provide data
connectivity inexpensively, if imperfectly. As converged devices
proliferate and newer network technologies spread to developing
countries, these problems will ease--and in the meantime, the installed
user base is more than twice that of the Internet and growing more
rapidly. Phones already have the potential to provide secure ID
(combining voice and face recognition at the server level), and can
serve as powerful transaction platforms (see the current
micro-entrepreneur reseller activity with Smart Buddy in the
Phillipines.) Whether WiFi-like or cellular solutions are most feasible
may depend as much on the regulatory environment (what's legal) and on
the openness to innovation in cellular providers.

Allen L. Hammond
Vice President for Innovation  Special Projects
World Resources Institute
10 G Street NE
Washington, DC 20002  USA
V (202) 729- 
F (202) 729-7775
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
www.wri.org
www.digitaldividend.org




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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Improving Access Via Mobile Telephony

2003-11-19 Thread satish jha
Its increasingly clear to us:

That there are no standard answers to it - people have begun using what
they have access to - GSM, TDMA, WiFi, cable (even where there is no
telephone and it is primarily used for TV), VSAT or what have you.

That each piece of technology gets created to (a) either address a
specific problem or (b) becomes available to some unintended problems on
its way to finding a solution to something at a remove (c) simply
serendipity (d) stumbling upon something by users etc...

There is little planning outside of large organised structures to
address the issue (both governmental and commercial) and efficacy of
corporate investments in terms of both quality and ROI is generally
closer to targets than the government bodies have managed.

There has been an opening of mind that life according to internet cannot
be lived in megs or gigs but, enthusiasts of any success hyping it up to
a level that it becomes counter-productive, continue to flourish.

The quality of emerging/ alternate technologies is far from satisfactory
and in terms of quality cost-effectiveness may also be equally suspect.




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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Improving Access Via Mobile Telephony

2003-11-17 Thread William Lester
Congratulations! Fola Odufuwa has got it exactly right, IMHO. As we look
for what was referred to in some previous posts as 'narrowband'
solutions, the evolution of the mobile phone from a simple audio
communication device to an internet gateway may prove to be the answer.
While we won't get the speed of high-end WiFi, we will get a
cost-effective solution to support low bandwidth applications, like
email, along with access to all the virtual knowledge centers on the
internet super-highway.

This is happening, not just in Africa, but all over the world - in
places where traditional wired infrastructure is too expensive or not in
place. We've seen this happen in Eastern Europe, where George Soros has
invested millions to help civil society by investing in wireless
technology, and we are seeing it happen today in the nation-building
efforts in Afghanistan and East Timor. Go to Cambodia and see how clever
people are bundling multiple inexpensive mobile phones into virtual GSM
internet gateways that can support email servers and web sites.

While there is no one solution for such a complicated issue, often one
workable solution will help us to move swiftly in the right direction.

Bill Lester

William A. Lester
CTO/Director of Technology
NinthBridge
a program of EngenderHealth
440 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(Office) 212.561.8002   (eFax) 212.202.5167
(e-Mail) [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
(URL) www.ninthbridge.org 
The Means to The Mission


Fola Odufuwa [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 The only constraint to this happening now is two-fold. First is the
 limitation of GSM technology. GSM support for broadband Internet
 technologies, a key requirement to productive Internet access, is
 evolving at the moment. There is no clear-cut, globally acceptable
 single means of assessing the Internet via a mobile device on a GSM
 network. Whether it is WAP, GPRS, EDGE, or ETC (!), GSM support for the
 Internet is extremely weak. This is why bypass technologies such as
 Wi-Fi, and Wi-Max are in strong demand.

 The second reason is the poor usability of mobile phones as Internet
 access devices. But this problem would be solved and the Internet will
 soon merge with, and converge into, mobile devices. When that happens,
 the digital revolution in Africa would be even more explosive. Think of
 it again. The day you can conveniently use your regular mobile phone
 (and I'm not talking of expensive esoteric models as the Communicator)
 to send emails to your loved ones in the village and browse for current
 prices of cement (for instance), that day your need for the services of
 a place to browse would diminish! The place to browse would be right in
 your hands! And that day is not too far-fetched.





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