Nortel launched a 'Connecting Communities' initiative with plans to provide a community in a developing market with wireless broadband-enabled services and applications.
At a press conference in London, Nortel outlined its plan to identify a potential site where it can work to highlight the positive impact of communications networks on healthcare, education and economic development. The Connecting Communities initiative was launched by Bill Owens, vice chairman and chief executive officer, Nortel and Steve Pusey, president, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and Asia Pacific, Nortel.
"The developing world can benefit enormously from new communications technology," Owens said. "It has the potential to enhance lives and change the socio-economic profile of a region."
Nortel will be searching across the developing markets in its Africa region for a suitable community with minimal fixed or wireless communications services and with a collective desire to exploit its benefits. In partnership with its wide base of service provider customers, Nortel will gather information on where its technology can be put to best use.
"Leading the development of advanced, broadband wireless communications reduces the cost involved in providing wireless network access in developing markets," Pusey said. "Wireless penetration in Africa is already more than double that of fixed networks, and we feel that there is an opportunity for communications access to be made available to more remote and dispersed areas to stimulate economic, healthcare and educational development."
Nortel aims to demonstrate the applicability of information and communication technologies to improve or solve issues in developing markets. The potential benefits of the Connecting Communities project include giving local trades people and businesses access to new markets and services, enabling better educational opportunities, and providing improved healthcare.
Nortel believes that its CDMA wireless solutions based on the 450MHz band are particularly well suited to providing some broadband connectivity in remote and dispersed regions of Africa.