It Takes a Village to Connect the Unconnected

By    March 3, 2015

There was much discussion yesterday after Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote at Mobile World Congress 2015. CNBC and Business Insider discussed the industry reaction to Zuckerberg’s keynote in 2014 and the backlash from major global carriers that were suspicious of capitalizing on the decades of infrastructural investment made by the telcos.

Regardless of where you stand, it does take a village to build a network with an entire ecosystem of hardware, software and applications to deliver any type of communications network. The reality is that we still have a lot to do as an industry to continue our mission to Connect the Unconnected.  And we need to keep the issue at the forefront and continue innovating to deliver quality, cost effective solutions to connect the next four billion people.

Facebook’s, Google’s Project Loon and Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) are just some of the companies driving change and awareness to the issue. But it does require an entire ecosystem of communications vendors and service providers to make this happen. At the show, the many handset vendors announcing lower cost smartphones targeted at developing markets have taken a step in the right direction.

But while the spotlight this week at Mobile World Congress is on the large service providers, let’s not forget the thousands of independent, entrepreneurial service providers spread around the globe who built their communications networks because they saw a real need to either provide differentiated alternative services, or more importantly, deliver services where there were none at all.

This week, Cambium Networks and Orion Telekom in Serbia announced the launch of video streaming alongside VoIP and broadband services on the ePMP™ platform, proving that a highly reliable service can be delivered on a cost effective platform. Orion is the first alternative service providers in Serbia to offer triple-play services to its user base. In the past six months, Orion has launched services to approximately 4,000 subscribers. This is no small feat. Consider what else we’ve accomplished in our wireless deployments – providing distance learning in Papua New Guinea, connecting nearly 200 villages across Nepal and enabling a fully equipped emergency room on wheels – and imagine the possibilities on a global scale.

So let’s keep the conversation going – we still have a long way to go before our job is done.

Making communications networks more reliable and affordable is what we do every day, and we’re showing the latest in fixed wireless connectivity at Mobile World Congress. If you’re in town, feel free to come see us at Stand 7B41 in Hall 7.