Nokia Siemens adds Net access to Village Connection service

Nokia Siemens is adding Net access kiosks to its Village Connection service in Africa.

Nokia Siemens Networks has added Internet access capability to its Village Connection service for remote African villages.

The Village Connection is an initiative by Nokia Siemens Network to tap into a potentially vast growth market by providing villages with low-cost communications in partnership with mobile service providers in Africa. Nokia Village Connection services for voice and SMS were launched in May 2007. The new Internet kiosks will use the services' IP backhaul connection.

The service is adding Internet kiosks designed to let people access the Net and regional content, including commodity price and cross-border sales information.

"The biggest benefit to operators is that the Internet kiosk enables them to provide Internet access easily and cost-effectively for rural villages, benefiting from the existing IP backhaul of the village connection solution," Rauno Granath, head of new growth markets at Nokia Siemens Networks, told the IDG News Service on Thursday.

Village Connection Internet kiosks provide rural customers with shared access models similar to those available to Internet café customers in urban areas. The village connection cafés are made up of two PCs, with one PC used to provide an IP backhaul connection and the second PC serving as the user access point.

Granath said the Village Connection has been tested successfully in emerging markets including Tanzania and India, and that plans are under way for a trial in South Africa.

Nokia Siemens is a 50-50 joint venture between Nokia Networks and Siemens.

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