The need to really connect the nooks and crannies of Africa has been stressed.
“Information and Communication Technologies can enhance rural communities opportunities in Africa by improving their access to market information”, it was stated.
For digital transformation to truly be a meaningful success, and the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to genuinely take hold, both need to be all-inclusive. That means better coverage is imperative in rural areas, especially those that have been underserved with critical infrastructure in the past.
Given the challenges we face as a planet, and the Sustainable Development Goals laid forth by the United Nations for a better world by 2030, doing business today is not just about a healthier bottom line. It’s about making a measurable positive impact on the industry and the regions that Ericsson operates in. Indeed, conducting business responsibly is fundamental to our company’s strategy and culture, with these priorities embedded across our company.
Connectivity for all
From a coverage point of view, extending the access to connectivity within rural areas addresses one of the sustainable development goals, in particular, is that of reducing inequalities. That end is accomplished by more than just enabling more people living in outlying areas to have access to the internet. It further entails enabling those communities to be able to better fulfil a wide range of societal needs. From access to education and health services to financial inclusion and enabling entrepreneurship, the societal benefits in rural people’s lives are far-reaching and profound.
The good news from an African perspective is that Ericsson has made tangible progress in other areas of the world that faced a similar challenge as that of rural Africa.
For example, in Greenland, Ericsson modernized and managed Greenland’s main telecommunication provider, Tele-Post, so as to expand coverage into remote villages, using Ericsson Radio System. The obstacles were similar, if not even more challenging, than those facing many rural areas in Africa, including harsh terrain and extreme climate.
Nonetheless, by using a combination of Ericsson Radio System and cost-efficient upgrade of sites to LTE, the project resulted in providing connectivity for residences and enterprises alike. This aided in broadband becoming the backbone of Greenland’s society.