Nokia said that it has tied-up with the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) to create technology solutions using unlicensed spectrum to deliver cost-efficient, last-mile broadband connectivity to remote rural communities in India. Under a 3-year partnership, Nokia will also fund and provide technological expertise for research at IIT-M's Center of Excellence for Wireless Technology (CEWiT).
Sandeep Girotra, Vice President and Head of India region, Nokia, said that the collaboration will leverage its talent and innovation to drive the Indian government's vision of empowering rural communities through broadband connectivity. “The successful implementation of this project is a key social development objective for Nokia in India,” he added.
The research project aims to bridge the connectivity divide in India by broadening the reach of broadband in rural areas. The project aims to complement the Indian government's ambitious plans of providing fiber optic connectivity to 230,000 gram panchayats by providing last-mile connectivity from gram panchayats to their respective villages.
As part of this research, CEWiT at IIT-M will verify the feasibility of using unlicensed spectrum radio access technologies for cost-efficient, last-mile broadband connectivity. Further, it will create effective low cost rural access solutions based on Wi-Fi technology.
"Our research will focus on leveraging the power of the Internet to accelerate the development of India's rural communities, home to the vast majority of India's population,” Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, said,