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Project to bring Nomadic Network Boxes to Nepal receives funding

Nepal nomadic node

26 September 2023

BDFI academic Dr Angeliki Katsenou has received seed funding from the Royal Academy of Engineers to explore the feasibility of bringing network connectivity to regions in Nepal.

Nepal does not have robust telecommunications connectivity, meaning a lot of their residents are kept outside of the digital ecosystem. To address this challenge, this project will embark on a feasibility study on using nomadic network boxes in areas that lack reliable internet or cellular services.

Nomadic network boxes are portable, self-configuring nodes that can independently establish a network, making them ideal for regions where traditional telecom services are either unavailable or unreliable. This might be due to geographical constraints, infrastructural limitations, or economic factors.

The nodes can communicate with each other, allowing users to share information and communicate, as well as offer reliable connection to digital services, bridging the digital divide.

Angeliki said: “This is a very exciting project which has a lot of potential. The boxes could revolutionise digital access in Nepal, enabling services such as online education, telemedicine, social networks, and e-commerce. They could also facilitate community communication and foster social inclusion and economic development. Since the nomadic network boxes are open source, they can offer local entrepreneurs and developers opportunities to create software applications, potentially stimulating digital business growth.”

The first step of this year-long project is a feasibility study with Utopia that is based in Nepal and IIITB in India. BDFI Co-Director Prof Dimitra Simeonidou is the advisor to the project.

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