UN ICT Task Force Series 10- Village Phone Replication Manual

Details of the organization
United Nations ICT Task Force
Business sector entities

Information about the project
UN ICT Task Force Series 10- Village Phone Replication Manual
This book addresses the challenge of extending communication networks to rural areas in developing countries. Given the high cost of deploying telecommunications infrastructure, governments and industry have little financial incentive to extend such networks. Telecommunications providers are reluctant to place public access telephone booths in rural areas, due to initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs. Governments, through their regulators, often place “Universal Access” requirements on providers. These requirements result in an infrastructure investment that can make access available to some degree. Such services typically operate at a loss, and providers maintain them as a duty to their licensing obligation. High initial infrastructure investment, relative low call volumes, high maintenance costs due to harsh environments, cash box collection needs, cash security costs (for coin-operated phones), card availability (for prepaid airtime systems), technical illiteracy, remote locations and high transportation costs are just some of the obstacles to providing rural telecommunications access. “Village Phone” addresses these issues, indicating a profitable new market niche for telecommunications companies, new and profitable micro-enterprises for rural poor Village Phone Operators, and affordable and accessible access for communities. Action Line 2 of the Geneva Plan of Action: “Information and communication infrastructure: an essential foundation for the Information Society” states that infrastructure is central in achieving the goal of digital inclusion, enabling universal, sustainable, ubiquitous and affordable access to ICTs by all”. This publication contributes to this effort by establishing a template for creating sustainable initiatives that bring telecommunications to the rural poor, create viable new businesses for micro-entrepreneurs, and expand the customer base of telecommunications companies in a profitable way. This project has been submitted to the Golden Book database.
International implementation
Completed from 2005
United Nations ICT Task Force, Grameen Foundation USA, the World Bank

WSIS information
* Information and communication infrastructure
* Enabling environment
* International and regional cooperation
  • Eradicate poverty and hunger
  • Develop a global partnership for development
  • Publication
The project is being considered as contributing to the objectives of the ITU Connect the World initiative? No