Rural areas of countries continue to be
sparsely covered and are not considered as a viable business case by
telecommunication operators. Recent growth of teledensity in urban
areas, fuelled by mobile technology, has meant that the digital gap
between rural and urban areas has widened.
Rural populations will need to be
provided with mobile telephony and wireless broadband access, by
connecting remote areas to the broadband core networks. Choosing
efficient, cost-effective and fast-deployment
technologies – whether wired or wireless networks – will improve
The key challenges for the provision of
telecommunication services in rural areas are driven by both technological and economic considerations. Setting up
backhaul connectivity remains a high-cost exercise.
Erratic power supply or complete lack of energy sources is a major
barrier, and photovoltaic power supply is
increasingly becoming a viable alternative. The requirement to maintain sufficient backup systems raises operational
This programme will contribute to the
goal of digital inclusion, by providing assistance for the development of connectivity in rural and remote areas
using suitable technologies for access, backhaul
and sources of power supply.