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Nokia, IIT-M to connect rural India with broadband

Posted: 11 Feb 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:broadband  connectivity  digital India 

Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) has signed a three-year partnership with Nokia to enhance broadband connectivity in rural India.

Nokia will fund and provide its technological expertise for research at IIT-M's Centre of Excellence for Wireless Technology (CEWiT). The research project is aligned with Nokia's sustainability strategy to enhance people's lives with technology and rural development, as well as the Centre's National Optical Fibre Network Initiative.

CEWiT at IIT-M will verify the feasibility of using unlicensed spectrum radio access technologies for cost-efficient, last-mile broadband connectivity and complement the centre's plans of providing optical fibre connectivity to 2.3 lakh gram panchayats by providing last-mile connectivity to their respective villages.

IIT Madras

Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) in India. (Image source: Wikipedia)

The project aims to build low-cost but efficient rural access solutions based on Wi-Fi technology. It will focus on using the power of the Internet as a leverage to accelerate the development of rural communities. The goal is to provide every corner of India with a broadband connection. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT-M told newspapers that broadband will be critical for implementing Digital India programme, and without it e-governance will be impossible.

Sandeep Girotra, VP and head of India region for Nokia, declined to disclose the amount of funds from Nokia under the company's Corporate Social Responsibility research programme but stated that the successful implementation of the project will be a key social development objective for the company in rural communities, where the vast population of India reside.

- Toni Urrutia

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