Rural communities in Lesotho deserve to be connected just like anywhere else in the world, according to Nthabiseng Pule, executive secretary at the Universal Service Fund (USF) of Lesotho.
Pule was discussing rural infrastructure at the 2014 SatCom and World Rural Telecoms Congress Africa event in Johannesburg, South Africa on 21th May.
“Some of the towers with the highest traffic are in the rural areas”, she said, while highlighting the challenges of making sure the mountainous country was covered by voice and data services.
“They [people in rural areas] make use of communication technology a lot because they want to sell their sheep and cattle and also track their mohair payments”, she said.
Pule said the government is trying to find alternatives to smartphones for internet provision.
“A smartphone’s power doesn’t last long, so we are looking for alternatives”, she said.
HumanIPO reported last month low-cost smartphones are key to internet penetration in Africa.
“Growth is going to come from mobile phones and particularly low-end smartphones that are starting to flood the market”, said Dave Duarte, South African entrepreneur and social media expert.