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Nokia ties up with IIT-Madras to boost rural broadband connectivity

Aim is to leverage unlicensed spectrum to deliver cost-efficient, last-mile connectivity to remote communities, complementing govt's NOFN initiative

BS Reporter  |  Chennai 

Nokia ties up with IIT-Madras to boost rural broadband connectivity

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras) has partnered with Nokia to create technology solutions that will enhance broadband connectivity in rural India.

Under the three-year partnership, Nokia will fund and provide technological expertise for research at IIT-Madras' Center of Excellence for Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

The project will evaluate the option of using unlicensed spectrum to deliver cost-efficient, last-mile broadband connectivity to remote rural communities in India, complementing the government's National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) initiative, according to IIT-Madras press release.

The research project aims tobridge the connectivity divide in India by broadening the reach of broadband in rural areas.

As part of this research, CEWiT at IIT-Madras will verify the feasibility of using unlicensed spectrum radio access technologies for cost-efficient, last-mile broadband connectivity, 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 and would create effective low cost rural access solutions based on Wi-Fi technology

Sandeep Girotra, Vice President and Head of India region, Nokia, said that this research collaboration with IIT-Madras, which will leverage its talent and innovation to drive the Indian government's vision of empowering rural communities through broadband connectivity - an initiative that will revolutionise access to government services and the Internet.

"The successful implementation of this project is a key social development objective for Nokia in India," said Nokia.

Prof. BhaskarRamamurthi, director, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, said that "together with Nokia, IIT-Madras, through its Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology, will explore new avenues for getting affordable wireless broadband technology to rural India in an effort to bridge the digital divide.

"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," said Bhaskar Ramamurthi.

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First Published: Tue, February 09 2016. 16:20 IST