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 Monday, February 18, 2013

Microsoft, in collaboration with Kenya's ICT ministry and Indigo Telecom, announced the launch of a pilot project to deliver low-cost wireless broadband to previously unserved locations near Nanyuki and Kalema, Kenya. The network uses TV white spaces and solar-powered base stations to deliver broadband access.

This pilot is part of Microsoft's broader 4Afrika Initiative to help improve the continent's global competitiveness. A core goal of the 4Afrika Initiative is to facilitate access to technology for the masses and to empower African students, entrepreneurs, developers and others to become active global citizens. The project is the first deployment of TV white space technology in Africa targeted at communities without access to broadband or electricity and is a result of a memorandum of understanding on a framework of cooperation between Microsoft, the Kenyan ICT ministry and Indigo Telecom. 

The initial installation near Nanyuki includes five customer locations: the Burguret Dispensary (healthcare clinic), Male Primary School, Male Secondary School, Gakawa Secondary School and Laikipia District Community Library. The installation in Kalema will begin with a base station that connects to a government of Kenya agricultural extension office. Fourteen more locations on the network will be added in the coming months. The network will also feature white space radios manufactured by Adaptrum.

Source: Telecom Paper.