Tambuzi’s Pilot Programme, “Mawingu”
28 Sep 2016
Mawingu, Tambuzi’s Pilot Project
Not everyone is able to enjoy good-quality internet access. In fact, fixed broadband access is unaffordable for 3.9 billion people globally. At least 2.6 billion people cannot afford mobile broadband either. The situation is particularly acute in Africa, where 90% of the population lacks affordable access to fixed broadband and 82% to mobile broadband. In Kenya only 2% of the population subscribes to broadband services, according to the Communications Commission of Kenya.
In an effort to help address this challenge, Indigo Telecom (http://www.indigotelecom.com/company.html) has teamed up with the Government of Kenya, Ministry of Information & Communications and the Microsoft Corporation to deploy a proof-of-concept wireless network. This network focusses on assessing the commercial viability of delivering reliable and affordable broadband access to rural parts of Kenya. It does this by using solar power and innovative new wireless technologies like unused TV band spectrum (known as TV white spaces) and other radios connected to Microsoft’s cloud-based white space database.
The project is branded as Mawingu, or “clouds” in Kiswahili. Burguret Community has been chosen as one of the sites where the network has been initiated. Mawingu’s success is in providing schools, clinics and community centres with affordable electricity and broadband internet. The goal is to ensure everyone has access to basic levels of electricity and broadband services at an affordable price.
Tambuzi Ltd. has embarked on facilitating this pilot project as the first “Mawingu” agent. They have installed this project in the Burguret Community Hall for a one year period. If the pilot project is deemed successful, “Mawingu” agents will be rolled out to other rural parts of Kenya, available for more and more people to enjoy.
For more interesting facts on this project, visit www.mawingu.org