At the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Summit, Telefónica and Facebook announced a joint collaboration to reduce the digital divide in Latin America (LatAm) by targeting challenges to rural connectivity.
Both companies began this collaboration over a year ago as members of TIP and plan to contribute lessons learned back to TIP and the broader community. It started with projects in Peru, where there are more than eight million under- and unconnected people in rural and peri-urban areas, and will expand to apply lessons learned across LatAm.
The companies aim to address rural and peri-urban connectivity challenges by combining innovative approaches and solutions including using new network technologies (both in access and backhaul); reframing operating models; and involving telecom players in new ways. This includes deploying alternative access solutions like OpenCellular, an open-source, disaggregated wireless access platform that Facebook contributed to TIP to improve connectivity in remote areas of the world.
In addition, both companies will use high-definition population density data sets combined with Telefónica’s business intelligence tools to improve network planning. This population density data combines satellite imagery and census data to understand population distributions and inform where to deploy connectivity solutions.