International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co won a contract to supply 900,000 tablet computers for first graders in government schools in Thailand under “One Tablet PC Per Child” scheme.

The Cabinet will approve this proposal next week for buying the selection of Scope under the cost of THB 2,482 (US$81) a piece in which the first lots will be distributed to first graders this May to promote a knowledge based and network-connect society.

The Education Ministry also plans to seek approval to purchase higher specification tablets for nearly 700,000 units for Grade 7 students.

Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap said the project committee had chosen “the company that proposed the lowest price of $81, excluding transportation costs”.

The selection of Scope to supply tablets for the project was based not only on price, but also on other criteria, the minister said and added they included tablet specifications, insurance conditions, and delivery time among others.

The other companies in the bid had offered to supply the tablets at higher prices. TCL Cooperation offered $89, Haier Information Technology (Shenzhen) Co offered $105 and Huawei Technologies Co proposed $135.

A government committee set a starting price of 3,100 baht per unit plus 300 baht for uploading e-content. The cost excludes shipping costs to Thailand.

The decision was made after a committee visited the production lines of all four companies in China. Of the 900,000 tablets the government will purchase, 860,000 will be distributed to all of the country’s first-grade students and the rest will be earmarked for teachers and kept as reserve inventory.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:16:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Located 160km Northeast of Hanoi, Ha Long—capital city of Quang Ninh province, Vietnam—”has started installing 30 wireless base broadcasting stations to provide free wifi for citizen and tourists” revealed Mr Nguyen Minh Hong, Director General, Department of Information and Communications, Quang Ninh province.

The project to offer free wifi for the main cities of Quang Ninh is estimated to cost about 350 trillion Dong (USD 17 million).

The first implementation phase required an investment of about 100 trillion Dong (USD 5 million) to “establish free wifi for Ha Long city”. Quang Ninh local government is working closely with the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT) to implement this project. VNPT is responsible for installing infrastructure and collect monthly wireless internet fee from local government and end-users who need better services for their entertainment needs.

Hong told FutureGov that the Ha Long project is expected to be finished before the end of April 2012 when the local tourism festival begins. The free wifi coverage will help meet internet access needs of local citizens, investors and tourists.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:04:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 13, 2012
This study examines how access to and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are transforming the economic opportunities available to poor and low-income women in India by promoting their entrepreneurial activity. What types of initiatives support small and medium enterprises for women, and through which ICTs? What factors shape a positive connection between ICTs and women’s business success? What barriers have been lifted and what opportunities realized? What types of impact are ICT-based initiatives having on women, their businesses and beyond? What promising pathways are being shaped, and what channels have yet to be explored?

The larger goal of this research is to identify how technology can be leveraged to create and transform entrepreneurial opportunities for women across the globe. The insights presented here are intended to inform programs, policies and investments that encourage women to start, strengthen and sustain businesses by adopting and using ICTs. Recommendations aim to provide direction for stakeholders—development actors, governments, and especially the private sector—on how they can support women’s entrepreneurship through ICT platforms, products and services.

(Source: International Center for Research on Women - ICRW
Full Report

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:21:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 12, 2012
March 8th is International Women's Day and to mark the occasion, the GSMA mWomen Programme has released a study called "Striving and Surviving – Exploring the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid". Drawn from 2,500 interviews with women (aged 16-64 in both rural and urban areas) living on less that $2 a day in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda, the report looks at how mobile technology influences the way women approach health, economic development, and family relationships, and what mobile operators can do to reach more low-income women.

The report is divided into three parts; part one looks at the social, cultural, and economic factors that women at the base of the economic pyramid face in their daily lives, part two looks at the role of mobile technology in their lives, and part three looks at how technology can be used to further reach low-income women.
Some of the statistics pulled from the report show that when asked what the key benefits of mobile would be:
  • 80% reported being connected to friends and family
  • 58% said it would be useful in an emergency
  • 40% said it would cut down on travel time
  • 15% believed it would help them feel secure
  • 93% reported that mobile phones made them feel safer, while the same proportion particularly valued being connected to friends and family.
  • 41% reported that owning a mobile had helped them increase their income or their professional prospects
  • 85% of mobile owners reported a greater feeling of independence
Full Report
(Source: Mobile Active)

Monday, March 12, 2012 6:59:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
How can we understand the impact that mobiles are having on the livelihoods of the poor?

We all know that mobile phone use has grown exponentially in developing countries.  And that phones are having an increasing impact on the livelihoods of the poor by providing market prices, by supplying health information, by enabling financial transfers, etc.

A new working paper in the Development Informatics series – “Understanding Mobile Phone Impact on Livelihoods in Developing Countries: A New Research Framework” – argues the livelihoods approach is a good starting point.  But that it needs modification.

The livelihoods approach suggests four potential impacts of mobiles on the assets that underpin all livelihoods:
  • Asset substitution: saving time and costs for journeys, but adding costs for mobile expenditure.
  • Asset enhancement: greater efficiency in use of other assets e.g. for agricultural production or relationship-building.
  • Asset disembodiment: the conversion of assets to digital form e.g. the codification of social contacts, or digitisation of money.
  • Asset exchange/combination: e.g. the exchange of airtime or m-cash.
Important intermediaries – mobile operators, their agents, community-based organisations and NGOs, family and friends – help shape the extent and distribution of these impacts.  These are also shaped by the three livelihood strategies to which the poor apply mobiles:
  • Maintaining existing livelihoods and mitigating vulnerability: e.g. use of mobiles to maintain social networks that can assist in an emergency.
  • Expanding and enhancing existing activities: e.g. using mobiles to obtain greater earnings from existing produce, to save more effectively, or to obtain greater remittances from existing social contacts.
  • Diversifying into new activities: e.g. employment in the mobile sector, or use of mobiles to complete micro-work tasks.
(Source: ICT for development)
Further details

Monday, March 12, 2012 6:03:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
From 19th to March 23th, 2012, Bogotá, Colombia, will host the "South School on Internet Governance", whose main objective is to train professionals in all aspects related on Internet governance from a global perspective and with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.

The objectives of this school are:
  • Create opportunities for training new generations of professionals who should actively participate in meetings in which they will form the future of the Internet.
  • Encourage young students of the Latin American and Caribbean region to engage in the international development of Internet policy and issues associated with their government.
  • Increase the representation of the Latin America and Caribbean countries in the development of spaces where to debate and define Internet governance.
During five days of intensive training, participants will learn how to govern the Internet; the political, economic, social and legal implications of Internet Governance; the international spaces for desicion makers; technical protocols and other aspects on Internet and Governance and its impact on development of Internet and its future.

The event is organized by the South School on Internet Governance (SSIG), supported by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies , the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), Government Online, Live Digital Colombia and the Training Center of High Technology.

The South School on Internet Governance is the first and only training program in Latin America and Caribbean that covers all aspects of Internet governance from a global and regional levels.
 
Internet Governance is more than the administration of domain names, according to the definition developed by the Working Group on Internet Governance in 2005, it is "The development and application of principles, norms, rules, procedures and programs that form the evolution and use of the Internet".

(Source: MINTIC)
Further details

Monday, March 12, 2012 4:01:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, March 11, 2012
According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, 80 percent of adults gather health information online and 88 percent of American adults have a cell phone, and among the cell phone owners 53 percent own a smartphone. Read Original Content

The World Health Organization has calculated that mHealth adoption could reduce costs for elderly care by 25 percent, reduce maternal and perinatal mortality by 30 percent, and improve TB treatment compliance between 30 percent and 70 percent. Read Original Content

The significant adoption of smartphones among physicians has not only led to an explosion of medical apps aimed at healthcare providers, but it has also cultivated an emerging trend of health and wellness apps aimed at empowering patients. Check out these three new apps that empower patients. Read Original Content

Webalo technology eliminates the need for traditional mobile application development tools and custom programming to provide in hours, instead of weeks or months, mobile access to the specific enterprise data and functions that smartphone and tablet users rely on to do their jobs.  This newsletter is sponsored in part by Webalo, www.webalo.com.

 Clinical trials by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Flinders Medical Centre will assess the performance of the world-leading handheld ultrasound device engineered and manufactured by Adelaide company Signostics Limited. Read Original Content.

(Source: MobileEnterpriseStrategies)
More details

Sunday, March 11, 2012 4:43:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 08, 2012

This paper makes the case for a National Software and Broadband Policy in support of the recently published draft National ICT Policy of January 2012 by the Ministry of Communications Technology's Ministerial Committee on ICT Policy Harmonization which includes in its objectives, "To encourage the development of Broadband services that will enable Nigerians enjoy the benefits of globalization and convergence".

Specifically, the paper builds on the Broadband Section of the policy which states that "It is widely acknowledged that broadband infrastructure is an enabler for economic and social growth in the digital economy.

Therefore as part of the universal service obligation, broadband access shall be made universally available to all citizens." This section of the policy sets the National Broadband objectives as - To accelerate the penetration of affordable broadband Internet in the country and - to foster broadband usage for national development.

The strategies put forward for achieving these objectives are that the Government shall:

  1. Provide periodic review of the broadband penetration targets in order to determine further action for broadband expansion;

  2. Promote both supply- and demand-side policies that create incentives for broadband backbone and access network deployment;

  3. Facilitate broadband development and deployment, leveraging on existing universal service frameworks;

  4. Provide special incentives to operators to encourage them to increase their investment in broadband rollout;

  5. Promote e-Government and other e-services that would foster broadband usages.


(Source: allAfrica)
Further Details


Thursday, March 08, 2012 3:42:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Survivors of the 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti have this week started receiving cash subsidies through the first-ever mobile money transfer system in support of post-disaster housing reconstruction, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reported.

More than 2,000 mobile money transfers are planned in the next three months to 1,000 low-income families receiving subsidies totalling $500 to purchase construction materials such as cement, iron and wood at selected project-certified stores. The initiative is part of the ‘Community Support Centres for House Repairs’, a partnership between UNDP and the Government of Haiti.

Commissioned by UNDP and developed by Digicel, one of the country’s largest cell phone service providers, the mobile telephone cash transfers are helping boost financial inclusion in Haiti, where nearly two-thirds of the population has access to mobile phones, but only 10 per cent have bank accounts.

Beneficiaries can also access a mobile phone checking account, which is a safer method of keeping cash, reduces financial transaction costs, improves users’ ability to save and helps bring more people into the formal financial sector.

“Mobile phone vouchers create additional security and convenience here in Haiti, especially for women, who might feel more vulnerable when carrying large sums of money”, said Jessica Faieta, Senior UNDP Country Director for Haiti. She stressed that more than 40 per cent of Haitian households are led by women.

“With safer housing conditions, this initiative will also encourage the permanent return of camp residents to their neighbourhoods and repaired homes”, she added.

The Support Centres, known locally by their French acronym as CARMEN, have been empowering quake-affected communities in Port-au-Prince and the western town of Léogâne to directly take charge of house repairs, with engineering assessments and construction training.

Four thousand families have already registered to participate in the project, benefiting 12,000 people. Five thousand participants have been trained in construction techniques and 2,000 damaged houses have already been evaluated, according to UNDP.

(Source: United Nations)
Further Details

Wednesday, March 07, 2012 3:44:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 06, 2012
The study identifies the main healthcare challenges in each study country, and estimates the potential benefits over the next decade of large-scale mHealth solutions being made available, leveraging the best evidence available on mHealth pilots to date. It also examines the roles stakeholders need to play to help make this a reality.

Based on the explosive growth in global mobile phone penetration, a technology revolution is quickly gaining pace in healthcare. Around the world, healthcare systems are overburdened, costly and incapable of meeting the needs of a growing population. According to a new study from The Boston Consulting Group and Telenor Group, mobile health technology can offer sizeable benefits to all countries, lead to economic growth and promise a better life for individuals.

The study "Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth " - commissioned by Telenor Group and carried out by The Boston Consulting Group - is a comprehensive survey of the impact that mHealth initiatives can have in 12 countries. What unites them all is that mobile health technology can improve the quality, reach and effectiveness of services while reducing costs and the overall system burden.

Telenor Group has launched a number of mobile health initiatives across its markets. In Norway, an assisted living project helps the elderly stay longer at home through mobile alarm systems. In Thailand, a mobile text messaging service provides epidemic surveillance. In Bangladesh and Pakistan, a service called Healthline provides patients with a simple number to dial for both serious and non-serious medical needs. In India, mothers can obtain critical information about prenatal health via their phones. In Montenegro, a joint project with the EU provides a service for remotely located elderly people, enabled by one touch on a button on their mobile handset. In Serbia, mobile health technology is used to increase the quality of medical registration and reporting for the Roma community.

Among the key findings:

  • The necessary infrastructure is already in everyone's hands: 7.4 billion mobile subscriptions projected by 2015

  • The technology richness and network capacity is sufficient, both on simple feature phones and on smart devices

  • Currently, more than 500 mobile health projects are taking place around the world

  • Costs in elderly care can be reduced by 25% with mobile healthcare

  • Maternal and perinatal mortality can be reduced by 30%

  • Twice as many rural patients can be reached per doctor

  • Tuberculosis treatment compliance can be improved by 30-70%

  • 30% of smartphone users are likely to use "wellness apps" by 2015

  • Costs related to data collection can be reduced by 24%

  • Smartphone is the most popular technology among doctors since the stethoscope

(Source: Reuters News)
Further details


Tuesday, March 06, 2012 5:04:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 02, 2012

A farmers’ organization in Western Kenya uses mobile phones to access a digital marketplace and bypass middlemen. Now trading directly with exporters, the group is seeing dramatic increases in income. New mobile applications are also being used to provide timely information about disease outbreaks to farmers in Eastern Africa, so they can prepare and prevent the pests from affecting their livestock.

Understanding and addressing global agriculture developments - both positive and negative - are critical to improving smallholder livelihoods. These are just two examples of how the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) can improve smallholder farmers’ income and increase agricultural productivity. Expanded and increasingly affordable connectivity and tools, especially mobile phones, as well as advances in data storage and open access, have made ICT relevant to agriculture.

Now, the World Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department (ARD) has teamed up with infoDev to connect smallholder farmers to knowledge, networks, and institutions.

“The missing link to achieving smallholder farmer growth has always been access to timely, cost-effective, and personally relevant information on improved practices, markets, prices, inputs, weather - and impending disasters,” said Mark Cackler, sector manager for ARD.

Smallholder farmers, who still provide a significant portion of the world’s food, need information to advance their work just as much as industrial-scale producers, but they often lack access to simple tools and technologies that can provide essential information on prices, markets, varieties, production techniques, services, storage, or processing. As a result, smallholder farmers remain dependent primarily on word of mouth, previous experience, and local leadership.

But this is changing as the types of ICT-enabled services useful to improving the capacity and livelihoods of poor smallholders are growing quickly. For example, short messaging service (SMS) is now enabling mobile phones to be used as a platform for agricultural information exchange.

(Source: The World Bank)
Further Details

Friday, March 02, 2012 6:50:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ICTs and Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change

The CAMELTEC project focuses on radio's contribution to sustainable mountain livelihoods in the Peruvian Andes. This project aims to address technological, social, political and institutional issues that affected these communities.

CAMELTEC was broad ranging in its remit; aiming to address technological, social, political and institutional issues that affected these communities. There was a strong informational component based mainly around radio and offering meteorological warnings but also advice on husbandry to reduce the impact of climate variability on animal disease and death. Such advice was provided both in preparations for cold spells or other weather events, and during those events themselves.

The project also addressed itself to factors such as markets and market pricing for alpaca wool, and the organization of the alpaca farmers and the institutional support provided by local government and others.

Overall, the CAMELTEC project aims to use radio and other means to achieve three goals:

  • Strengthen local organizations such as farmer cooperatives to enable the introduction of sustainable (including climate sustainable) livestock practices.

  • Improve the quality and quantity of alpaca wool being produced, through good husbandry and reproductive management practices.

  • Improve income through changes to wool output and through better market access.

(Source: e-agriculture)
Full Report


Wednesday, February 29, 2012 10:30:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Choudhary, a former BBC journalist, with the support from the International Center for Journalists, with whom he is a Knight International Journalism Fellow, began an experiment in citizen journalism.

"We understood it would have to be cheap and that voice would be key -- because people are not comfortable with reading and writing", he said. The initial phase of the experiment, which revolved around the internet and community radio stations, "failed completely", he admitted. But then he took a different tack, focusing on mobile phones, which have a 74% penetration rate in India.

"Mobile is the most democratic tool in India today", said Choudhary. Although the mobile penetration rate in rural areas was about half the national level (36%), phones were still a common sight even in the most remote villages. "When we started working in 2004-5 in the villages, we did not see mobile phones. But there has been a sea-change. Mobile phone use has exploded".

The result, CGNet Swara (roughly, the "voice of Chhattisgarh") is a voice portal that allows anyone with a mobile phone to record or listen to news and items of interest. The operation is simple: on dialing the service's number, users press "1" to record a report, or "2" to listen to one. Once a report is recorded, it is verified and edited by a team of moderators before being made accessible on the service.

The service "did better than we ever expected", said Choudhary. He added that in the two years since it began, Swara has had 9,000 users, logged more than 30,000 phone calls and published 750 news stories, including a number which have had a big impact. For example, in January last year, Swara published a citizen journalist interview with Pitbasu Bhoi, a disabled man who said he had not been paid wages for 100 days of work on the government's flagship rural job guarantee scheme.

Other stories have shared allegations including villages being razed in raids by security forces, police brutality, food programs for poor children going months without receiving supplies, and resistance to land being taken over for mining.

(Source: CNN News)
Further details

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:24:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Under the auspices of the Global Research Alliance (GRA), Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS together with several partners from Europe, Africa and Australia has launched the GRA ICT4D project on a green and low-cost wireless communication network for rural Zambia.

In this project the Global Research Alliance (GRA) has initiated cooperation between major research institutes worldwide with the objective of challenging the lack of access to the world-wide communication infrastructure in rural areas of developing countries.

The GRA ICT4D project joins the efforts of VTT (Finland), CSIRO (Australia), the Meraka Institute (South Africa) and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Germany and Portugal, to take advantage of each institute’s individual expertise to jointly develop a communication infrastructure suitable to provide Internet access in rural Sub-Sahara-Africa. The organization MachaWorks supports the initiative as a local anchor-point in rural Zambia.

More specifically:

  • CSIRO provides an efficient satellite-based infrastructure to reach rural areas;

  • Fraunhofer Germany provides a terrestrial wireless infrastructure to bring this satellite connectivity into the wide area;

  • Fraunhofer Portugal contributes with software solutions for mobile devices which will address local demands and will be piloted on top of the developed communication infrastructure;

  • VTT integrates its network management concepts to take advantage of the network’s context awareness;

  • Meraka contributes with its experience in wireless mesh concepts, in particular the community mesh and the wireless backhaul;

  • MachaWorks will support local deployment, test and evaluation at a rural area in Zambia.

The GRA ICT4D project is planned to last until the end of 2013.

(Source: Fraunhofer)
Further details


Tuesday, February 28, 2012 5:23:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 27, 2012

Recent mobile phone initiatives in Bangladesh are allowing patients to reach a health worker for advice at no cost 24 hours a day, receive prenatal care reminders and even send complaints about patient care.

“It is difficult to manage doctors for [a national population of] 140 million people. We are using mobile phone service to bridge this treatment gap“, Abul Kalam Azad, a senior official at the Directorate General of Health Services, told IRIN.

Close to 60 percent of the population - some 85 million people - use mobile phones in Bangladesh, according to a December 2011 report from the country’s telecommunications regulatory commission.

Cut off from formal medical care, some patients turn to untrained or “fake” doctors, leading to fatal remedies, said Azad, who wants to counter this trend with sound health advice.

Since 2009, the government has provided cell phones to 482 sub-district and district government hospitals, which are used as round-the-clock hotlines staffed by health workers.

Nationwide there is one doctor for every 3,200 residents and one hospital bed for every 1,738 people, according to government data published in 2011.

While this proportion of doctors to residents exceeds the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended minimum of one doctor per 10,000 residents to ensure basic health services, the picture in rural areas is markedly different.

“There are many hard-to-reach areas where it is difficult for the people to quickly rush to the hospitals. These people are getting health advice by the mobile phone health service”, said Azad. The country is in the bottom 20 countries ranked by NGO Save the Children for health workers’ ability to reach patients in need.

(Source: IRIN News)
Furhter details




Monday, February 27, 2012 10:50:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

WARID and Orange Uganda have joined the Mobile Money network to offer money transfer services to their clients. MTN's Mobile money and UTL's M-Sente are already in operation with DSTV, Umeme, NWSC among others using this service for customers to settle their bills.

At Case Clinic for example, you clearly see a notice displayed at the payment point that they accept mobile money payments. This can be helpful in a number of ways, assuming you are short on cash of course as you did not know the cost of the drugs coupled with the consultation fee, you could go ahead and call up a friend to bail you out by sending the money to your phone so that the medical bills can be settled.

Not so many people might be embracing it now but it will be a matter of time before this becomes a way of life though problems like load shedding can easily affect you if you do not charge your mobile phone.

To access your account which in this case is your mobile phone, it must be on. To receive money as well, the phone must be on because unlike SMS that can be delivered when the phone is switched on, you must use a service centre to retrieve mobile money messages.

(Source: Uganda Online)
Further details

Monday, February 27, 2012 8:41:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The start of the End User Computing learnership programme which will equip 34 young women in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality was celebrated by the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa (PWMSA) and Bytes People Solutions (BPS)

This follows the signing of an MoU between the three primary partners PWMSA, Bytes People Solutions and the Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Training Authority (MICT Seta) to train 180 young women in ICT in six municipalities. The municipalities are Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Metsweding, Sedibeng, Wesrand and Johannesburg Central.

Funding for the programme was provided by the Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Training Authority (MICT Seta). The group of women from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality are the second to start the programme following the commencement of the training in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality in July 2011.

The learners are offered employment utilizing the workplace networks of the three partners. Learners are employed for one year, during which they will receive workplace training and coaching.

Bytes People Solutions, a company in the Bytes Technology Group, wholly owned by JSE-listed Altron, has a long-standing track record in ICT training, with more than 800 people a year passing through its doors, 59% of them female.

Dr. Ramokgopa, who is also a working committee member of the PWMSA and convener of the Gauteng Chapter, said that the programme had attracted young women who strongly believed that it would enhance their employment prospects. "The most important partners in this programme are the participants themselves", she said. "There is a high ICT illiteracy rate among women in the country, and this group of graduates is helping to address that. It’s vital that we continue to educate females in this industry as they play a key role in economic development”.

(Source: SkillsPortal)
Further details

Monday, February 27, 2012 4:23:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 23, 2012

Millions of people in Africa and the Middle East will be able to benefit from free, unlimited access to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia through their mobile phone, starting later this year. The scheme targets the region's 70 million customers of the mobile network provider Orange, who will be given free access to Wikipedia on their internet-enabled 'smart' phones.

The deal struck between Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, will allow Orange customers to read and download information from Wikipedia without the usual data usage charges. "Price is a strong barrier to people accessing the Internet, particularly in Africa", said Vanessa Clarke, spokesperson for Orange.

But the project will face several challenges, according to local experts. Catherine Ngahu, chair of the Kenya ICT Board, said few people in the region own a 'smart' phone that can connect to the internet. "Although there is increasing ownership of smart phones, there is still a large number of people who cannot afford them", she told SciDev.Net. "In order to widen reach, Orange should consider marketing lower cost smart phones".

Michael Njuku of the Kenya Revenue Authority said obstacles will range from low quality mobile handsets people own to a network provider's ability to handle the increased Internet traffic as customers try to access Wikipedia, sometimes millions at a time. "Governments in Africa must also do more to ensure that poor quality counterfeit gadgets are not imported into their countries", he said.

Clarke said the scheme will be rolled out in mid-2012, initially in about eight countries, and by December some 20 countries will benefit.

She said between seven and 15 per cent of Orange customers in Africa and the Middle East currently have phones that access the Internet, but the company plans to increase the proportion to 50 per cent by 2015.

Kul Wadhwa, Head of Mobile and Business Development at the Wikimedia Foundation, said he expects the scheme to encourage more people in Africa to read, contribute and download information from Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is the world's largest online encyclopedia, maintained by a global community of volunteers. It contains explanations of many scientific terms and issues, and some have suggested it could be used to share scientific knowledge.

(Source: SciDev News)
Further details


Thursday, February 23, 2012 5:59:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More than 3000 public schools in the Philippines are now enjoying the learning and teaching benefits derived from the “desktop virtualization” technology applied in many e-Classrooms, as part of the Department of Education’s Computerization Programme.

The Computerization programme is an initiative by the Government that aims to have public elementary and secondary schools nationwide use Information Communication Technologies (ICT) in teaching, learning, school management, and governance.

This technology enables one host system to power six computers simultaneously. This is in contrast to an older practice where each desktop is connected to a Central Processing Unit (CPU).

By using desktop virtualization, schools can reduce the number of required CPUs in computer laboratories, thereby also reducing hardware costs by 50 per cent, 75 per cent on support costs, and 90 per cent on energy consumption expenses.

In addition, the said technology has the potential to improve student-to-computer ratios in many schools nationwide thereby also improving IT literacy of many students.

The same technology is also being adopted by many public schools in Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bhutan.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details


Wednesday, February 22, 2012 6:28:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 21, 2012
As part of its campaign "Back to School" (de vuelta al colegio), Movistar has launched in Peru the interactive space "Classroom 365", educational initiative that seeks to complement the education in schools, through the use of advanced multimedia tools and which is available to all customers of Movistar Speedy free of charge.
"This education portal is the difference between studying and learning, since through the pedagogical model Edutaiment "learn while you play", allows that thousands of children and young people have educational support online, with over 3,000 educational resources and multimedia secure social networking and moderate English courses and virtual teacher, that will help children to allay concerns quickly and efficiently, among other content ", explains Paul Aristizabal, creator of this tool and CEO of the company “Competir”, a provider of Classroom 635.

Currently, "Classroom 365" is present in five countries in the world, being the gateway of more relevant to contribution of learning in Latin America, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This dynamic tool will enhance the student learning in a fun and safe environment with moderate content and where you can find updated information according to the Peruvian school curriculum.

"We are committed with the education in Peru and a way to contribute is massifying broadband and giving our customers more and more content that will provide more value, such as "Classroom 365", we're sure that it will be a tool that will contribute greatly learning, "says Marcelo Echeguren, Commercial Director of Residential Customers of Movistar.

Through this initiative, Movistar is following the evolution in time of the forms of teaching and learning of students, in an efficient, fun, innovative and above all safe. "Classroom 365 brings closed the most advanced multimedia resources as educational films, blogs, charts, biographies, photo gallery, virtual teachers and an advanced search engine, which will make that the student can find their answers in an agile and entertaining way, also has a tutorial control for parents, allowing monitoring of the activities of children. Access to Aula 355 here.

(Source: Telefonica)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:51:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 20, 2012

Malaysia is introducing a Smart City-Smart Village initiative expected to contribute RM 95 billion (US$30.6 billion) to the national economy by 2020.

The project, to be implemented through the Global Science and Innovation Academy Council (GSIAC), aims to “balance development in the urban and rural areas, focusing on the use of green technology and ICT”, said GSIAC in a statement.

The goal is to improve everything from energy use to healthcare, education, traffic and shopping by doing it “smart” with the help of ICT and green technology”.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Tun Razak, who chairs GSIAC, has endorsed this programme with a vision to benefit and transform the living standards of the Rakyat. Smart community projects are expected to empower and connect communities with an inclusive socio-economic approach to growth based on the New Economic Model and Vision 2020 agenda.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details

Monday, February 20, 2012 10:40:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 16, 2012

The program “Padrino Tecnológico” has been introduced in the University of Alcala de Henares as part of the activities of CAPTA II, organized by the Chair for the Improvement of Personal Autonomy of Telefonica, which objective is the research, development, education and outreach to strengthen technologies such as "Internet of Things" and increase personal autonomy of certain groups (Disabled people, elderly, sick people ...).

The initiative has as protagonists to the "sponsors", volunteers who spend time for designing and developing ICT solutions for children with motor and / or cognitive high impairment. It also has the involvement of the University students as potential entrepreneurs, who could use the existing market niche around disability, who are nearly 1,000 million people worldwide.

Also concerning to the accessibility, experts from the National Center of Techniques Accessibility (CENTAC), the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and Telefónica, which participated in the conference, wanted to highlight the key issue that services based on “Internet of Things” will be viable and accessible for all society: design but taking into account all people, whatever their capabilities, making them affordable; paying attention in the security and privacy of data, taking advantage of them, and promoting digital literacy for easy using.

But “Internet of Things” is not only key for the inclusion in the society of people with disabilities, but also constitutes an industrial sector to develop, which may contribute to the sustainability of Health, for example, by telecare solutions for the chronically ill and to seek a healthy aging (keep in mind that at 2050, 30% of the Spanish population will be more than 80 years old).

At the meeting, attended by over 100 people, also they stressed the benefits of smart cities or smartcities. So, Javier Vizcaino, manager of Public Administrations of Telefónica for the Centre Territory, explained that these smart cities provide suitable information to public managers, so they can take better decisions, make easy the participation of citizens, promote efficiency in the use of energy resources, and improve accessibility.

(Source: Telefonica –España)
Further details


Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:42:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Mostly when the people think of the Internet, there is a male predominance in most of the questions, especially in manufacturing and invention of new technologies. Previously, the role of women in the virtual world was not very significant. However, over the last years, this thinking has changed. Regarding this case, the CPBR5 # invited to six recognized ladies to discuss and review this issue: Julia Petit, Lemos Nina, Penatti Giovana, Lola Aronovich, Daniela Dantas, and the mediated of Fernanda Pineda.

Julia is a blogger, host of the "allied base" in the GNT and music producer. Nina is a journalist and writes for the magazine "TPM". Daniela Dantas, writes in the blog "Girls and girls." Lola is a professor at the Federal University of Ceará and blogger on "Lola Post Write." Giovana is editor of "YouPIX" and writer in the blog "Girl Geeks". Fernanda is an actress, producer and blogger "Fake Doll."

For guests, the myth of the "Club of Little Lulu" is still too prevalent among women. "Women like to talk to each other, not only because of similar issues, but why this woman understands the universe", Says Julia. Lola believes that what happens is the opposite. There are more "boys club” that the "Little Lulu" and those have more prejudice. The teacher said most of the jokes come from men and you see that kind of attitude as a child.

The younger audience, represented by Daniela blogger, says children are participating in public opinion polls of the blog, and which is predominantly female. Thinking about the content area, Julia believes in the feminine nature of talking more and in the issues addressed.

The guests believe in the expansion of the public information, what happens in recent years. With the rise of blogs and the rise of Internet access, women began to seek more information of interest in the web. However, this flood of content consumption aggravated the problem in people. Previously, they knew that they know not so much. Today, the pressure implied by the corporate media is so great that people end up buying the pieces before the main product, it is not necessary. "The lack of filtering of information is one of the main culprits of this desire to buy en masse", says Giovanna.

At the end of the talk, the guests were pleased with the progress of women in technology and fear of lack of knowledge of women, the tools used for work. And that's why Campus Party always tries to bring together diverse segments such as robotics and digital arts, for example, for a week, the participant may have contact with these areas and an open mind to new content.

(Source: Campus Party – Brasil)
Further details

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:40:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thailand decided to buy up to 900,000 tablet computers from China via a government-to-government contract with payment made in cash and produce for its One Tablet per Child scheme.

A memorandum of understanding on the planned procurement was signed by the two countries, said Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Anudith Nakorntha yesterday.

We are negotiating the price and payment options with China”, he said. He also expected the negotiations to conclude this month.

He added that the negotiation would be based on mutual benefit. “The negotiation will be fair to both sides. China is a big manufacturer. It can offer tablets at a competitive price”.

Nakornthap revealed that the government had already approved a THB 1.9-billion budget (US$ 63.3 million) for the procurement of 560,000 tablets to the Ministry of Education, though the ICT ministry will handle the purchase.

However, he said that more funds would be needed because the Education Ministry plans to distribute the devices to all 860,000 first graders before the start of the upcoming semester in May. With some tablets to be given to children in other grades, the ministry will need up to 900,000 units of them.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details


Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:43:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In the villages of Nepal, the community radio programme Sajha Awaj (common voice) allows discussions on issues of importance to the women of the community through transmission to more than 160 community radio stations.  The programme is produced by the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB), a grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality. The programme delves into issues ranging from addressing cultural malpractices faced by rural women — such as being shunned during their monthly menstrual cycle — to women’s role in local politics and building a local motorway which is essential for rural women traders.

In Latin America, organizations like Puntos de Encuentro in Nicaragua and Asociacion de Comunicadores Sociales Calandria and Movimiento Manuela Ramos in Peru, provide critical public forums  for discussions on effective ways to end violence against women, on women’s access to justice and legal support through radio programming. Radio projects also form an important channel of information in post-conflict Iraq and Nepal. These initiatives are supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, managed by UN Women. Established in 1996, the Fund is the only multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively devoted to supporting efforts to end violence against women and girls.

All these efforts have one thing in common — the power of the radio. According to UNESCO, radio can be found in the homes of 75 percent of the world population. For billions of people living in rural areas, or as urban poor, access to information is limited. Disconnected from the information gateway due to poverty, low literacy, limited electricity connections and access to communication technologies such as computers and internet, radio is often the only medium available. Run on batteries, lightweight, mobile and inexpensive, the popularity of the radio medium remains high, amongst the six billion people who have access to it worldwide.

Community radio uses the power of the medium, but redefines it to give a voice to the most marginalized communities. It creates a non-commercial platform, where ordinary people in rural communities, often the women of the community, own and produce the content they hear on the radio.

(Source: UN Women)
Further details

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 4:38:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In the department of Chocó, the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, through the Ministry of ICT, delivers mobile classrooms with that seek to promote quality education, fostering development and reducing poverty through the use of ICT tools.

The mobile classrooms are a new concept of Computers for Schools, program from the ICT Ministry, that has given technology to about 7 million children in the public sector educational institutions in Colombia.

"We are promoting inclusion and educational equity throughout Colombia because these technological tools must serve all sectors of our country. The technology gives a child from Quibdó the same opportunities of any other child from another city", said Minister Molano Vega.

With the mobile classrooms, which are transported by all classrooms of educational center benefited, the students from different courses may have access to technology and digital content, which are the main support to improve the quality of education.

This was demonstrated by a recent study of CEDE from the University of Los Andes, which showed that education mediated by ICTs improve academic achievement and encourage students not to leave their classes, among other positive impacts.

The benefited schools from the new mobile classrooms in Chocó are the Educational Institute Antonio Ricaurte, which has over 70 students enrolled, and the Educational Institution Industrial Carrasquilla, where there is nearly 900 children.

"We hope make the best use of this equipments that come to us because these are low-income schools and these tools opens up new opportunities", said the rector of the school Carrasquilla, Lucia Diaz Torres. Meanwhile, the president of the Institution Antonio Ricaurte, Antonio Ledesma said that access to technology makes the children from Chocó citizens of the world.

(Source: MINTIC - Colombia)

Further details


Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:39:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With internet usage on the rise, Pakistanis are turning to the blogosphere and citizen journalism to share their opinions. Hosh Media epitomizes the growing popularity of locally-based, online portals for citizen journalism in Pakistan.

According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the number of broadband internet subscribers rose from 26,611 in 2005 to 1,656,800 in September 2011; an increase of 1.5 million subscribers. It is also estimated that as of 2011, Pakistan’s population stands at approximately 187 million; of this, the internet penetration is estimated at over 20 million.

Given the proliferation of internet usage in Pakistan, local citizen journalism portals have also seen a rise in popularity. SeenReport, Gawaahi, Maati TV, and other blogs and websites initiated by local media outlets and independent journalists/bloggers have given Pakistanis with access to the internet the chance to have their voices heard.

Hosh Media, though, has a specific focus as a citizen journalism portal. ‘Hosh’ is an Urdu word that loosely translated means ‘to awaken,’ and that is precisely what it hopes to do. By connecting the blogosphere and traditional reporting in Pakistan, founder and Pakistani journalist, Sahar Habib Ghazi, wanted to create a fresh way to engage the public while infusing news with youthful perspectives and voices.

Hosh Media recently added six online journalism tutorials to its website which are short, interesting, well-packaged videos featuring veteran Pakistani journalist Abbas Nasir highlighting important subjects within journalism such as, "Covering Survivors of Abuse", "Quoting Anonymous Sources", and "News vs. Opinion" among other topics. These tutorials serve as a reservoir of information and articulate instruction for budding citizen journalists and bloggers.

(Source: AudienceScapes)
Further details

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1:24:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 09, 2012
As an integral part of the “Vive Digital Plan”, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) is going advance in the initiatives that let more Colombians can have access to computers, digital tablets, and smart phones and thus facilitate access to ICT tools.

In Colombia, there are about 10'530.000 of these ICT tools, which corresponds about 23% of the total population. To improve these figures, we have sought an alliance between government, operators, manufacturers and credit institutions to promote the use of computers throughout the country.

Among the strategies developed and as support to the Vive Digital Plan, Almacenes Éxito, Intel, UNE and HP joined to provide to the community an affordable way to buy computer with Internet access under the program "My First Computer“. This not only means an opportunity for social strata 1, 2 and 3; also means greater opportunities for companies to increase their sales.

Other advances that have been achieved through the combined efforts of the Ministries of Foreign Trade and ICT, was the elimination of import taxes for the terminals with Internet access, like for example computers, tablets and smart phones; which passed from 5% to 0%. The measure, which took effect from first January 2012, will increase significantly the demand for terminals in social strata 2, 3 and 4, so that, more Colombians have access to the information highway.

"The ICT Ministry took strong measures so the technology can reach everyone, and with this kind of work in partnership we will contribute to the reduction of gaps in knowledge of new technologies", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega.

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)
Further details

Thursday, February 09, 2012 4:37:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2012
The Australian government’s high-speed, fast-access broadband communications program will deliver health care services to older Australians, people living with cancer, and those needing palliative care.

The national broadband network (NBN) telehealth pilot program will more readily connect healthcare providers with patients, especially in regional, rural and outer metropolita areas. A telehealth pilot is being trialled in an area of NBN coverage – with first round of services to be operational by July 2012.

Australia’s telehealth services are supported by the $36 billion (US$38 billion) NBN roll-out, offering affordable broadband to homes, doctor surgeries, pharmacies, clinics, aged-care facilities and allied health professionals. Telehealth services remove many of the barriers, such as Australia’s “tyranny of distance,” as well as managing the time and cost involved in patients visiting healthcare providers or GPs.

These broadband-supported services, when fully operational, will transform the way healthcare is delivered nationally – while streamlining service delivery for groups in most need.

Senator Stephen Conroy, minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, says telehealth will transform health care delivery in Australia. This trial will make a real difference to the lives of patients with high health care needs living in NBN early rollout areas, particularly those in regional, rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas”, he says.

With an aging population, the Australian government seeks to maximize the reach of health care services, while proactively managing medical conditions.

Existing Telehealth services are popular with patients and doctors, making it make easier for people to receive care and consultation through videoconferencing, as and when needed.

Six months after introducing Medicare rebates for telehealth consultations, the uptake has grown steadily – with more than 7,000 services provided by over 1,200 clinicians nationally, mostly to rural and remote areas.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:45:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 07, 2012
An online pilot program to help eighth- through 10th-graders who are struggling with Algebra I is being launched at 16 high schools and 23 middle schools throughout Oklahoma (USA).

About 10,000 students from low-performing schools are participating in the first year of the program, which is free to their school districts, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

“We wanted to reach students who are most struggling in Algebra I as they prepare to take end-of-instruction tests—one of the requirements for Achieving Classroom Excellence”, said state Superintendent Janet Barresi.

Teacher training is conducted by webinar and will continue through Feb. 8th. Training is also free to participating districts. “This is one of the state department’s efforts to assist low-achieving schools by providing additional resources to teachers and students”, Barresi said.

She said she hopes to expand the program across the state and reach students in younger grades after this pilot year.

After reviewing seven online programs, the state Education Department selected Apangea Learning Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa., to provide the supplemental online math instruction and tutoring services.

“We were very impressed with the demonstration of this product and can see the high potential for Algebra I students who are struggling”, said Jeff Downs, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) director for the state Education Department. He said other states, including Texas, Idaho, and Indiana, have seen success from the program.

(Source: sChools News)
Further details

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:01:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 06, 2012
InfoDev have launched m2Work, a global online competition aiming to tap the job-creation potential of mobile phones. In addition to a total of US$ 40,000 in cash prizes, the challenge offers business mentorship to entrepreneurs with good ideas for mobile microwork. Microwork refers to small digital tasks people can perform anywhere to supplement their income.

Job creation is a priority of the World Bank and the m2Work challenge shows a novel approach to addressing this challenge. Currently, most microwork requires access to computers; m2Work aims to transfer micro tasks to mobile phones, which could have broad job creating potential given the five billion cellular phones in the developing world. m2Work is hosted by the World Bank’s infoDev and Nokia’s Ideas Project, and supported by UKaid and the government of Finland.

infoDev, a global partnership program in the World Bank, uses its network of Mobile Applications Labs (mLabs) and business incubators to help tech entrepreneurs at all stages, as part of our strategy to create sustainable jobs. The m2Work challenge aims to showcase the best ideas and spark a global discussion about mobile microwork.

The contest’s jury, which includes the World Bank’s Chief Information Officer, Ms. Shelley Leibowitz, representatives of Nokia, academia and the wider technology investment sector, will award individual prizes based on each idea’s potential development impact, innovativeness and feasibility. Submissions are accepted through April 2.

(Source: mWomen)
Further details

Monday, February 06, 2012 9:53:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2012

Digital Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized educational experience. On Digital Learning Day, a majority of states, hundreds of school districts, thousands of teachers, and nearly 2 million students will encourage the innovative use of technology by trying something new, showcasing success, kicking off project-based learning, or focusing on how digital tools can help improve student outcomes.

Digital learning is any instructional practice that is effectively using technology to strengthen the student learning experience. Digital learning encompasses a wide spectrum of tools and practices, including using online and formative assessment, increasing focus and quality of teaching resources and time, online content and courses, applications of technology in the classroom and school building, adaptive software for students with special needs, learning platforms, participating in professional communities of practice, providing access to high-level and challenging content and instruction, and many other advancements technology provides to teaching and learning. In particular, blended learning is any time a student learns, at least in part, at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and, at least in part, through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.

On February 1, 2012, the Alliance for Excellent Education hosted an in-depth webcast featuring moderated discussion of video footage of innovation in action looking at leadership, instruction, innovation, every subject area, and effective teaching. 

Then the Alliance hosted a live National Town Hall featuring FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a special joint appearance. The event profiled great teachers that effectively use technology to deliver instruction, and focus on education innovation projects happening across the country.

(Source: Digitallearningday)
Further details

Friday, February 03, 2012 4:49:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project implemented by Gilat Peru and the Telecommunications Investment Fund (FITEL) exceeds 85% of the goals for the first five months of implementation.

For the first time in the history of the region of Valley of Apurimac and Ene river (VRAE), a total of 167 000 inhabitants have access to fixed telephony and Internet services, services that since December 2011 - reach 660 locations from 776 locations that are included in the Project "Broadband for the Development of VRAE and the Communities between Camisea and Lurin", implemented by Gilat Peru and the Telecommunications Investment Fund (FITEL).

The project includes the regions of Huancavelica, Apurimac, Junín, Cusco, Ayacucho, Ica and Lima, and consists to facilitate the access to public telephony, fixed telephony and Internet services subscribers for the inhabitants of the valley of VRAE.

Five months after starting work, the process is advanced by more than 85%. Gilat informed that there are 82 Internet points installed from 110 total proposed by the project and 588 towns with operating public phones. To date, a total of 660 rural entrepreneurs have received training in marketing, promotional services, business management and leadership, which has given them great benefits. It is expected that all facilities will be installed on March 2012.

In addition, Gilat has conducted awareness campaigns using the Internet to more than 7 000 people in 82 towns that already have this service. This process includes topics such as Computer Basics and Basic Principles of User Navigation.

An important component that Gilat Peru is deploying is the pilot programs conducted in parallel to the telephone and Internet facilities. Gilat proved different uses of these communication tools and the ways of how these tools can improve the quality of life of users, as well as the possibility of opening new business and communicate with the major cities, or to report emergencies and access information about colleges and careers for young people, who are nowadays the most interested audience of this new technology.

(Source: Telecom News)
Further details

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 5:04:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 30, 2012
In an effort to bridge the digital divide, the Thai Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) has introduced 20,000 free wifi hotspots in Bangkok. The project is an collaboration with Thai telecom companies and is the government’s new-year gift to its people.

MICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap announced that 20,000 more spots will be operational in October this year, with the aim of having 250,000 spots in Bangkok as the target for 2015.
Ultimately, according to Nakornthap, city halls in 77 provinces, 878 district offices, 2,010 municipalities, 7,355 tambons, 5,765 tambon administration organizations, 12,355 schools, 1,278 hospitals and 8,269 police stations, will be covered under the plan.

The government has committed to 30 billion Baht (US$ 0.94 billion) to the Smart Thailand scheme, to be fully realized by 2015. The wifi project is one of the many initiatives within this framework. The MICT plans to have 85% of Thailand covered by high-speed broadband internet network by the target year.

Users have to register at the MICT website using their full name and identification number before they can use the wifi services. Speeds upto 2Mbps are attainable and users may use the services for upto two hours per session.

Wifi connectivity has been common in Bangkok for several years now; however, connection prices are high for customers and can be up to 150 Baht (US$ 4.7) per hour, compared to unlimited home broadband costs of 500 Baht (US$ 15.7) per month.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details

Monday, January 30, 2012 8:53:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, January 29, 2012
"The convergence between education and technology are an essential step in moving towards Digital Ecuador" under this premise, the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society, Mintel, promotes the implementation of equipment and connectivity in public educational institutions at the national level.

So, as part of the National Connectivity Plan that runs the MINTEL, the Minister of Telecommunication and Information Society, Jaime Guerrero Ruiz, presented officially to the school Oceano Pacifico technological equipment, located in San Jacinto, Charapoto parish in the Canton Sucre, Manabi.

Through the National Connectivity Plan contributes to the organization, execution and implementation of educational projects, generating a true revolution and Educational Technology, digital to eradicate illiteracy and promote quality schooling.

511 students from  the school Oceano Pacifico received 22 computers, 18 desks with chairs, a projector, a whiteboard, printer, router, 24 voltage regulators, a toner, a VGA cable set an alarm to reinforce security within the data center.

With this delivery the students from Oceano Pacifico school were benefited with highly significant tools that push quality educational processes.

(Source: Mintel - Ecuador)
Further details

Sunday, January 29, 2012 4:54:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 26, 2012

Telefonica Foundation has brought together international experts from different academic and institutional level on a meeting, to share, reflect and discuss the theme "Information technologies and communications technology (ICT) as providers of employment opportunities for young people".

The aim of the day was to generate a detailed analysis of the different causes of youth joblessness and how ICT can contribute by providing possible solution for combating unemployment among young people at a time of uncertainty over the global economic crisis.

During the session, the expert from the European Commission has made a presentation on the possible role that ICT can play in the context of youth employment. Pathways have also been discussed papers created by two of the experts: "The transition to adulthood in a crisis context: young people in difficulty, employment and technology" developed by Michael Melendro and "Youth Employability and Development Objectives Goals (LAC)" from Leopold Tornarolli.

The analysis of these papers has led to an interesting debate, from which the experts, with the help of the moderator, have developed a first document of Conclusions and Recommendations.

Telefonica Foundation is aware of the difficulties of young people in the context of global crisis. For this reason, has driven this multidisciplinary meeting in order that the experts give their opinion on the situation of certain groups of young people, their difficulties in accessing to the labor market and any recommendations for intervention from the point of view of these organisms . Information and Communications Technologies have focused the discussion of the meeting as key elements to create scenarios of opportunities for young people both in Europe and Latin America and especially for those who are most at risk of social exclusion.

(Source: Fundacion Telefonica)
Further details

Thursday, January 26, 2012 5:12:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 24, 2012
ITU has launched a new web Portal focused on helping girls and women access training, job opportunities and career information in the fast-growing information and communication (ICT) sector.
The portal is designed to help girls and young women aged 11-25 prepare for and pursue a technology career, providing links to scholarships, training and internships, ICT contests and awards, tech camps, online girls’ networks and other programmes that will give them a boost in entering what has become a largely male-dominated sector.

Turning girls on to technology
With computer and information systems professionals consistently ranked among the top 20 best-paying jobs – on a par with surgeons, orthodontists, airline pilots and lawyers – ITU is working to attract more young women and girls into the ICT sector, encouraging them to expand their horizons and urging their teachers and parents to cast aside old-fashioned negative attitudes.

Experts contend that girls and young women are ‘turned off’ careers in technology by a range of factors – from the profession’s ‘geek’ image to entrenched notions that technology careers are unfeminine, too challenging, or just plain boring.

“Research consistently shows that girls tend to choose careers where they feel they can ‘make a difference’ – healthcare, education, medicine. With this new portal, we’re trying to show them that there’s much more to ICTs than writing computer code”, said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General. “As we move towards an ICT-based Knowledge Society, the rise of apps and the explosion in telemedicine, remote learning systems and research and development make the ICT industry the most exciting choice any young person can make. We are entering unchartered waters of creativity, innovation and entirely new ways of working, interacting and learning. I hope our new portal will serve as a showcase to attract the many talented girls and young women in countries worldwide to this booming sector”.

What does the portal contain?
The Girls in ICT Portal houses some 400 programmes, including over 100 scholarship programmes and an equal number of contests and awards, some 60 training and internship opportunities, over 100 online networks offering career support and mentoring, as well as tech camps and Girls in ICT Day activities

(Source: ITU Newsroom)
More information

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:30:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Numerous studies have highlighted the importance of U.S. students’ math achievement, and now math teachers have a new resource, aligned with the Common Core standards and available free of charge, that might help them teach abstract math lessons.

Wolfram Alpha’s Wolfram Education Portal is a free website, currently in beta testing, that offers teaching tools and materials such as an interactive textbook, lesson plans aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and supplemental materials that include demonstrations, widgets, and videos.

Wolfram Alpha, created by noted scientist Stephen Wolfram, is a free research website powered by a computational knowledge engine that generates answers to questions in real time by doing calculations on its own vast internal knowledge base. The site’s Education Portal contains full materials for algebra and selected materials for calculus, but it will continue to grow and include more materials. Wolfram plans to expand the Education Portal to include community features, problem generators, web-based course apps, and the ability to create personalized content.

Crystal Fantry, senior education specialist at Wolfram, said the resource offers “some of the most dynamic teaching and learning tools available”.

Wolfram worked with the nonprofit CK-12 Foundation to develop the interactive textbook. The CK-12 Foundation aims to produce free and open-source K-12 materials aligned with state curriculum standards and customized to meet students’ and teachers’ needs.

(Source: eSchool News)
Further details

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 12:59:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 20, 2012
Invitation of Expression of Interest for Support from USO Fund for Pilot Project Scheme for Access to ICTs for Persons with Disabilities in Rural India
Administrator Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) on behalf of President of India invites “Expression of Interest” (EoI) from Services Providers for the above said pilot projects.

The detailed document inviting Expression of Interest is available on USOF website: http://usof.gov.in/usof-cms/usof_tencurrent.htm. No charges shall be payable by applicants towards the cost of the EoI application. In case of any query clarification maybe sought though email at the address jafusof@gmail.com.

The EoI is to be submitted in Room Nº 1307, Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi and the last date of submission is 31.03.2012 by 16 hours.

See previous information here.

(Source: USOF – India)

Friday, January 20, 2012 3:04:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 19, 2012
Encouraging more jobs for women in mobile phone retail and telecoms industries across 11 emerging countries could help families and boost revenues for mobile companies, suggests a new study released in Dubai.

Spearheaded by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, the study was conducted in cooperation with 14 mobile operators across the Middle East, Africa and Asia and comes more than a year after a study found that 300 million women globally do not have access to mobile phones.

Cherie Blair, foundation founder and wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, presented the findings yesterday at the Middle East Telco World Summit.

"I think it's all about showing what women can do, about showing that women actually can contribute to the economy and still fulfill their desires to be a wife and mother and also be respectful to their local community", Blair told Gulf News in an interview.

"Here in the Middle East we have more educated women coming forward, this will allow them to put that education to use and the mobile phone allows them to do that", she said.

Blair said the study by her foundation was undertaken following an initial study done in 2010 (Report) that showed encouraging women to enter the workforce could yield up to $13 billion in revenue for mobile operators.

(Source: Gulfnews)
Further details

Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:20:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society (Mintel), made the formal presentation of Mobile Classrooms, conveyance equipped with the latest technology, which will reach out to citizens from all corners of  the country with first-class technology services, as well as training on the proper use of Information and Communication Technology.

The Mobile Classroom presentation was made by Mr. Jaime Ruiz Guerrero, Minister of Telecommunication and Information Society, in the "Parque de la Madre", the city of Cuenca, after saying that "With the Mobile Classrooms we transport technology and transport knowledge,  by these units based on the concept of mobility we contribute significantly in strengthening technological learning, with the aim of eradicating digital illiteracy ... An educated country is a country that progresses ... a country that thrives. .. a country that moves ... This is Ecuador that we want, one Digital Ecuador", he added.

This project will train the population in rural and marginal urban areas of the most remote and difficult access to the national level. Also deliver content such as: access and manage e-mail, search engines, social networks, use of online government services, among other things that contribute in improving the quality of life of all Ecuadorians.

 The campaign for digital training, in its first phase, will have 2 mobile units, equipped with computers and Internet access, each with facilitators who will travel country wide.

(Source: Mintel - Ecuador)
Further details

Thursday, January 19, 2012 5:25:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recently, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Peru launched via Facebook, a useful source of information for women: "Being a Woman", which has the objective to inform women on what it means to be female. There is possible to find the answers to frequently asked questions that are commonly performed by women, thinking of their benefits, health and beauty, among other interesting topics.

To answer all kinds of inquiries with regard to women, it will be available a health specialist about sexuality. The expert also will absolve consultations on contraception, menopause, fertility, among other subjects that the visitors of the page are interested on. In addition it will provide tips and contests via this popular social network. In this regard Dr. Monica Naranjo Cáceres, gynecology specialist, said that this is important means of informing our female population, starting obviously with the teenagers and covers all women of childbearing age, to enjoy a full sex life and a personal. The link is www.facebook.com/sermujer.pe

"Women today should be better informed and know more about what it means to be a woman", noted the specialist.

(Source: Perumagazin)

Further details

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:28:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, January 15, 2012
The ICT Ministry, the organization Sesame Wokshop producer of Sesame Street TV and Channel 13, will sign a co-production alliance of digital literacy teaching and promoting the use and exploitation of ICTs aimed at children and youth of the country. The launch of this strategy took place on December 14 in the ICT Ministry. This initiative seeks to contribute to the reduction of gaps in knowledge of new technologies on children, youth and families in Colombia. According to the Sesame Model (internationally recognized educational model) will develop a special strategy for Colombia, promotional and educational, exploiting the recognition of the muppets from Sesame Street to promote the use of ICT in the country.

"To have 26 television episodes of Sesame Street dedicated to promote the use and appropriation of ICT in the country is like a dream. We all remember fondly the characters of Sesame Street, now let's remember because families, children and young people will learn to use ICT through their stories and characters", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega. The alliance also includes regional forums in which children and young people can participate and that they can structure a Decalogue for families in the use of new technologies. In 2012 they will produce series of 26 episodes of Sesame Street, which will be built on posts agreed with local experts.

Also, in articulated way they will develop in a strategy educational outreach involving the development and distribution of materials for different beneficiaries (children, families and educators) by exploiting the opportunities offered by different technological platforms. In addition, the ICT Ministry will encourage the participation of children in digital content production, with the aim of contributing to the digital world and train new filmmakers in them healthy practices in their relationship with technology.

The 26 episodes produced for Colombia will have a wide distribution in the eight regional channels in the country. In the first stage will work more than 100 people located in the United States, Mexico and Colombia and at the beginning this is directed to the Colombian families, but it has a great international projection.

(Source: MINTIC - Colombia)
Further details
Sunday, January 15, 2012 6:19:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Last Saturday, the Minister of Telecommunication and Information Society, Jaime Guerrero Ruiz, presented officially an "Infocentro" (Infocentre) in Social Rehabilitation Center of Tulcan.

Persons deprived of liberty (PPL) expressed satisfaction with this delivery, and that through the use of computers they can learn and be trained in the field of Information and Communication Technology.

Lydya Cruz, Director of the Center for Social Rehabilitation of Tulcan, said that the Infocentre is a new space for persons deprived of liberty, considering it a great opportunity, because it will improve the rehabilitation of these people. Through the creation of these spaces with equipment and connectivity, they will learn new options for their future, she added.

Cruz also highlighted the concern of the Minister of Telecommunications and the Government, lead by Econ. Rafael Correa Delgado, for improving the living conditions of persons deprived of liberty.

With the "Infocentro", PPL will enjoy of the educational and productive activities, so when they get back their freedom they will have better opportunities to rejoin society.

The Ministry of Telecommunication delivers in rural and marginal urban areas, and in social sectors, Infocentres to promote inclusion in the field of Information and Communication Technology.

(Source: Mintel - Ecuador)
Further details

Sunday, January 15, 2012 4:58:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, January 14, 2012

UNICEF has launched an international fundraising initiative called Schools for Asia to improve education for millions of children in the region.

The campaign will help the most marginalized, excluded or otherwise vulnerable children, including girls and children from poor families and of ethnic minorities.

The aim is to improve the access and quality of education for these disadvantaged children living across Asia and the Pacific.

Leotes Helin from UNICEF East-Asia and Pacific region spoke to Patrick Maigua about the programme.

See more details here

(Source: United Nations – News)

Saturday, January 14, 2012 6:19:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 13, 2012
The partnership will take place through the GSMA mWomen Programme Global Development Alliance and will enable women to effectively use mobile phones to access life-enhancing information, networks and services – such as banking, education and healthcare.

Studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in mobile phone use has led to a 1.2 percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in low- and middle-income countries. However, research shows that women in the developing world are 21 percent less likely than men to own a mobile phone.

Secretary Clinton noted at the launch of the GSMA mWomen Programme in October 2010 that, “investing in women’s progress is the most direct and effective way to invest in progress economically and socially globally.”

“For 300 million women in low- and middle- income countries, mobile technology is still out of reach. “It’s not simply because it’s too expensive . . . but it’s because of an array of economic and social barriers, from a lack of literacy to a lack of income to the all-too-common belief that cell phones afford more freedom to women than they deserve,” said Secretary Clinton.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said that a wide range of social and economic benefits can be delivered by extending mobile phone ownership to women. “Mobile phones can provide women living in remote and rural areas with access to bank accounts and formal credit”, said Mr. Rudd.

“In Pakistan, text messaging has been used to deliver basic literacy and numeracy classes. In India, texts have been used to provide agricultural commodity prices at markets, helping women to get the best prices for their produce”.

Today four out of five mobile phone connections are in the developing world. Through mobile technology, the public and private sectors are able to engage with individuals in new and innovative ways to achieve development objectives and drive economic growth.

The Global Development Alliance is a USAID mechanism bringing together the core competencies of the private and public sector. The GSMA mWomen Programme Global Development Alliance is being implemented by the GSMA, leveraging the expertise, distribution and resources of its global mobile industry membership, including the 31 GSMA mWomen Working Group members who have each committed their company to help reduce the mobile phone gender gap.

(Source: mWomen)
Further details

Friday, January 13, 2012 5:28:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 12, 2012
A handful of teachers in Hawaii are using a new service that allows them to blast a text message to parents, who can then text back.

Mark McDonald, 23, debuted the program in his Aiea High classroom at the start of this school year, sending parents reminders about everything from upcoming assignments to grades. Almost immediately, McDonald said, parents were making the communication two-way, texting him back with questions on how their child could do better or if missed work could be made up.

When McDonald began teaching English at Aiea in 2010, he struggled with how to involve parents. Parent engagement was next to nonexistent, despite his best attempts, so he had no way of knowing whether parents were getting his letters home, seeing their children’s grades or reviewing progress reports.

To address the problem, McDonald teamed up with a fellow teacher, Max Sack, and employed the help of a friend who is a computer programmer to start an online service that allows teachers to send text-message blasts to parents — and receive responses from them through a proxy telephone number.

Cellphones, McDonald and Sack reasoned, are more ubiquitous than computers and internet connections — which not all parents have access to — and more practical than printed notes sent home.

Since Kikutext.com quietly went live late last year, about 20 teachers (most in Hawaii), along with a handful of churches and other organizations, have signed up for the service, which education technology experts are calling a novel way to improve communication between parents and teachers and get students more connected to what’s going on in the classroom.

(Source:eSchools News)
Further details

Thursday, January 12, 2012 6:44:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Five Homes for old adults from the Government of Buenos Aires were benefited with connectivity, with broadband internet service and training provided from the volunteers of Telefonica.

What is "Digital Inclusion Centers"?

There are five Day homes belonging to the Government in the City of Buenos Aires where Telefonica´s Volunteers conducted the 2011 edition of Digital Inclusion Centers project, an initiative which aims to empower older adults in the use of tools computer and the Internet.

Twenty five volunteers from the Volunteers program of Telefonica have taught on office management and the Internet to older adults in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

The project, developed in a coordinated manner with the Office of Strengthening Social Civil Society from the Ministry of Development, from the Government of Buenos Aires, develops at different times in the Day homes 9 (Palermo), 17 (Almagro), 22 (The Boca), 27 (Villa Luro), and San Martin (Chacarita).

About Telefonica

Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world market by capitalization and number of customers. Its activities are centered mainly on the fixed and mobile telephony businesses with broadband as the key tool for development of both.
In Argentina, there are 16.7 million mobile lines, over 1.5 million accesses of broadband and 4.6 million fixed lines.

(Source: Telefonica Argentina)
Further details

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:16:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 09, 2012

A recent study reported by ITU/InfoDev reveals that investment in telecoms generates growth dividend because the spread of telecommunications reduces costs of interaction, expands market boundaries, and enormously expands information flows.

The results of the study show that in general the advent of mobile telephony has had a positive and significant impact on economic growth in both developed and developing economies. Key among these are:

A) Developed Economies

  • In the OECD economies, modern fixed-line networks took a long time to develop
  • Access to homes and firms at the time required physical lines to be built which was a slow and expensive process
  • These economies by and large had fully articulated fixed-line networks by 1996
  • The addition of mobile networks in these economies had significant value-added benefits by complementing the existing fixed lines.

B) Less Developed Economies

  • Developing countries may be said to experience a low telecoms trap i.e. the lack of networks and access in many villages increases costs, and reduces opportunities because information is difficult to gather
  • But at the same time, the impact of mobile telephony may be twice as large in these countries compared to developed countries
  • In these economies, mobile phones may be substituting for fixed lines
  • They are playing the same crucial role that fixed telephony played in the richer economies in the 1970s and 1980s
  • The growth dividend of increasing mobile phone penetration in developing countries is therefore substantial and far larger because mobile phones provide, by and large, the main communications networks
  • Mobile telephony therefore supplants the information-gathering role of fixed-line systems.
The study concluded that telecommunications is an important prerequisite for participation in the modern economic universe. The differences in the penetration and diffusion of mobile telephony appear to explain some of the differences in growth rates between developing countries. But given the speed with which mobile telecoms have spread in developing nations, it is unlikely that large gaps in penetration will persist forever.

(Source: GBI - USAID)
Further details

Monday, January 09, 2012 5:01:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society equipped with 5 computers, a laser printer, and a digital whiteboard to the school Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the Canton La Libertad, Santa Elena.

The computer teacher, Karina Vera, has 16 years working in this institution and told us that when she started, there was only one computer in the direction and the girls sat on the floor to receive information on how to use these tools. Vera said that always the computer time was very short, she never reached that the students could practice as they should, and this overwhelmed her.

It is impressive to see how, in order to advance in the world technology, she offered the classes through posters, all so that, girls recognize the tools and become familiar with the use of them, she said.

Currently, the school has a lab with 23 computers and a whiteboard. This is a realistic approach to technology. The official thanks to the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society, to include their school in this project, recognizing that each of the computers that come to his laboratory, will be useful to the fullest.

(Source: Mintel - Ecuador)
Further details

Monday, January 09, 2012 4:46:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |