With mobile phones recognized as the biggest contributor to economic growth in emerging economies, a UK company is pointing to Internet-enabled solar charging as the key to making mobile and smart phones more accessible.
In Africa, for example, “more than 80% of Ugandans have a mobile phone, but less than 5% have access to power,” Daniel Beccerra of Buffalo Grid told Curtis. “Off-grid people solve this problem by walking many miles to a local charge shop, paying a quarter of a day’s wages, and leaving their phone for a half day. They do this twice a week.”
The problem would only be made worse by a transition from mobile to smart phones, Curtis writes. “Their power demands are too high for off-grid communities and data networks are not available.”
But “Internet-enabled charging could provide everything that off-grid people need to get online using second-hand smart phones. Power comes from the charging system’s solar cells,” and “connectivity brings development, growth, and peace”