The potential of such technologies as fixed wireless access (FWA) to help schools, teachers, and students in very resource-limited settings is to be demonstrated in Senegal by Ericsson and operator Free Senegal.
Ericsson and Free Senegal have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a proof-of-concept (PoC) project that aims to provide a digital education ecosystem for schools in Senegal.
As part of the PoC, a number of schools will be connected with FWA technology, and will also be provided with laptops, learning content and teacher training to support the development of the ecosystem.
The project will run as a part of Ericsson'sConnect To Learnprogramme, which is described as a global education initiative to improve educational opportunities through technology. The partnership also complements Free Senegal’s ongoing efforts to improve learning standards in Senegal’s schools to help students across the country develop their communities and increase their digital literacy.
As Ericsson points out, for many schools around the globe, including schools in Senegal, connecting to the internet, and accessing online education will be via mobile networks. Although it is usually implemented as a solution for homes and businesses, the PoC will demonstrate how FWA, using existing mobile network infrastructure, can be a cost-effective and quickly deployed solution to connect schools.
The planned impact of the project is based on the available research that increasing access to connectivity, devices (such as laptops), educational content and training will lead to improvements in the quality of education, with benefits at the individual, community and national levels.