Approximately 56% of developing country populations live in rural villages or small communities. Nearly 50% of this population is without access to electricity and telecommunication services—essentials for social and economic enrichment in the 21st Century.
These rural populations are frequently high priority target populations for international donor and government assistance.
Remote Rural Telecom Access
Providing rural telecom access use to mean placing a couple of government subsidized land lines into a village. But no longer. With the explosive growth of mobile, rural telecommunication solutions have changed drastically, and Integra is providing cutting edge solutions.
In recent years a number of commercially viable technology innovations have surfaced that deliver high quality access at a substantially reduced cost, and with a much lower demand for electricity. New lower cost, small cell solutions have emerged in the market, along with long-distance backhaul solutions using unlicensed frequencies. A new generation of high-capacity Ka band satellites hold potential for delivering rural broadband and reducing the cost of delivery to more remote rural communities.
Integra is working to demonstrate solutions that deliver long-term financial sustainability to encourage carriers to become engaged in servicing these smaller rural communities.
Sustainable Business Models
Identifying new technological innovations is just one step in providing sustainable rural connectivity. It must be supported by financially sustainable, scalable, and commercially viable access. Integra is working with both the public and private sectors to identify workable business models to provide rural access without ongoing dependence on government subsidies.
Off-Grid Clean Energy
Thanks to the recent explosive growth in mobile, there are approximately 500,000 mobile towers throughout the developing world. Most of these are diesel powered, contributing to not only expensive operating costs, but environmental damage.
Integra is working with USAID to identify and test several potential solutions that would not only reduce costs, but would also be more environmentally friendly. Smaller base stations, as well as cost-effective clean energy solutions, such as wind, solar, pico-hydro and biofuels, are all being examined.