CAPE TOWN – 18 July, 2018 – Ammbr Research Labs (ARL) are delighted to announce that, Dr. David Johnson, Head of ARL South Africa and Dr. Melissa Densmore and their University of Cape Town team in the UCT Centre in ICT for Development in have been awarded the OpenCellular Grant by the Facebook Telecom Infra Project. The Grant will provide OpenCellular units and project funding for the first Wave of OC Grant recipients.
UCT is collaborating with ARL on networking technology that can be deployed in areas where the cost of access is prohibitively high for residents or in areas where connectivity is absent or limited. The collaboration will see iNethi technologies (inethi.org.za), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and ARL South Africa conduct a pilot program in the community of Ocean View, where the Ammbr mesh routers combined with open cellular base stations will be utilized to overcome the high costs of access to content and affordable last-mile access and connect the community of Ocean View to a host of opportunities through localized services and internet access.
“While the crypto community is juggling to figure out what to do with their millions of ICO raised money – AmmbrTech is ready with products and partnerships,” ARL CEO, Dr. Arjuna Sathiaseelan said. “I’m deeply excited by this collaboration – an integrated community wireless and cellular network powered by blockchain would be truly transformative!”
Dr. David Johnson, who is also an adjunct senior lecturer at UCT, a director at iNethi and leads the South African branch of ARL has been working with members of the Ocean View community with his colleagues at UCT since the early days of iNethi’s community wireless network projects.
“The deal struck with OpenCellular shows that Facebook believe in the capability of this team to show high impact,” Dr. Johnson explained. “The support from them, both financially and institutionally represents a massive step forward in our plans to successfully deploy a mix of wide coverage lower bandwidth small cell technology and higher bandwidth WiFi access connected by mesh networking. This technology will provide free and low-cost access to locally relevant content and the Internet. I’d like to thank all of my colleagues in the Ocean View Community, University of Cape Town, and the iNethi team without whose hard work this deal and the bright future for community owned networks would not be possible.”
While there are still a few administrative details yet to be completed, you can expect the pilot program to be deployed in Q4 2018.
About Ammbr Research Labs:
Ammbr Research Labs is the research arm of AmmbrTech and exclusively manages the research efforts for AmmbrTech’s development of technological solutions.
AmmbrTech is a distributed technology group, headquartered in Luxembourg, with subsidiaries and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Ammbr Foundation licensed AmmbrTech to develop key technologies for the Ammbr Mesh Network.
For more information about AmmbrTech, please visit www.ammbrtech.com.
About iNethi Technologies:
INethi seeks to work with communities to co-design a content sharing and services platform for community wireless networks. Their goal is to build more resilient communities by using information technologies to help them tap into local creativity, innovation, and other resources, with an eye towards improvement of socio-economic status.
For more information about iNethi, please visit https://www.inethi.org.za.
About the University of Cape Town:
Established in 1829, UCT is ranked as the top African university in the QS World University Rankings and has an enrolment of 29 000 students, over 10 000 of which are postgraduates. UCT has also ranked among the top 10 universities in the world in development studies.
For more information on UCT, please visit http://www.uct.ac.za.
The ICT4D Centre at the University of Cape Town (UCT) functions as an academic hub for researchers focused on creating solutions that address socio-technical problems in South Africa, across Africa, and in other developing regions. The Centre is a multi-disciplinary environment that seeks to produce new technologies for the developing world, while also studying the ways in which existing and emerging technologies affect and are appropriated by groups of people, particularly in under-resourced communities, please visit http://http://ict4d.cs.uct.ac.za/
OpenCellular is an open source, cost-effective wireless access platform developed by Facebook that aims to connect people living in remote areas of the world to the Internet. They are pursuing multiple approaches aimed at improving connectivity infrastructure and lowering the cost of deploying and operating that infrastructure.
For more information on OpenCellular, please visit https://code.fb.com/connectivity/introducing-opencellular-an-open-source-wireless-access-platform/.