Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Third World Countries Receive Emergency Services Via Free Mobile Services

Technology has slowly been increasing in Third World countries with the help of charities (such as One Laptop Per Child, which happens to be part of our Project P.H.O.N.E. donations), but what about companies with profit motive? Ericsson, one of the top Telecommunications providers in the world, has teamed up with Zain (Kuwait-based wireless carrier), Sony Ericsson and the Millennium Villages Project at Columbia’s Earth Institute to bring toll-free mobile service to remote areas in Africa.

These toll-free services are intended to save lives of these African citizens in order to provide emergency services, such as medical care. Up to 5,000 citizens in Dertu, Kenya that have been given temporary mobile services so far, a first for the region.

According to Richard Martin’s article “The Next Billion: Mobile Technology Saves Lives In Sub-Saharan Africa” on Information Week’s blog OvertheAir, the project intends to provide a solar-powered network to approximately 400,000 citizens in 10 countries.

Although these services will not make a dramatic decease of Africa’s impoverished conditions, I believe it will make a positive difference in mortality rates. Having mobile connectivity to emergency services and health personnel could potentially save lives and help maintain a higher population density for these countries.

How do you feel about this wireless service project? Do you think it will help these countries in any way?

Kimberly Salesky
Marketing Assistant

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