The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has said that availability and affordability would drive Internet penetration in the developing world.
According to the ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, in a statement over the weekend, Internet revolution is already having some important impact on health, education and livelihood programmes such as in agricultural productivity in developing countries.
It stated that internet uprising concept referred to the growing number of devices, from computers, smart phones, to simple sensors and Radio Frequency Identification chips that were connected to the Internet. It added that such devices were able to communicate with other devices, often without the need for human intervention.
The three prime drivers that, if supported, could create an internet revolution’ in the developing world include availability, affordability and scalability. It added that these devices were already common, cheap and easy replaceable in developing markets. It stated that basic infrastructure to support internet revolution Wi-Fi, Internet cafés, among others were already in place in many developing communities, with near-ubiquitous basic mobile connectivity 95 per cent global 2G coverage.
According to the statement, ITU’s latest statistics and growing levels of 3G coverage is 89 per cent of the world’s urban dwellers but only 29 per cent of rural inhabitants. It stated that these devices were increasingly being used in rugged, remote and inhospitable environments.
”Extreme conditions operating parameters are now being built into internet specs, as more devices are required to operate outside in varying conditions and climates, making them well-adapted for challenging environments.”
It added that internet revolution Research and Development costs continued to be absorbed by strong demand in developed world markets. It stated that there was little cost associated with weakling of internet revolution devices for the developing world.
According to the statement, these devices are designed to be scalable, as many devices already offer very simple ‘plug and play’ functionality and do not require skilled technicians for installation or maintenance. It stated that reduced and alternate power supplies like solar, could maintain sensors and networks where there was no consistent electricity supply which was ideal for countries with irregular or unavailable power.
It stated that these devices tended to be highly flexible and offering short or long-term solutions to the household, community, and the country’s ‘own’ speed.