Amazon Connection Wins 2013 Global Mobile Award
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN -- (Marketwire) -- 02/26/13 --
* New vitality and opportunities grasped during four years of
development made possible by broadband connectivity
* Telefonica Vivo Foundation and Ericsson installed the first radio
base station in 2009 in the remote town of Belterra, Para, Brazil,
providing 30,000 people in 175 communities with 3G voice and data
* In 2010, 3G coverage was extended to a connected riverboat that
provides health and education services to people living along the
* Expansion reached remote village of Suraca in 2011 and Connect To
Learn was launched there in 2012
Amazon Connection -- a digital inclusion program initiated by
Telefonica Vivo Foundation and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) -- has won the
2013 Global Mobile Award for Best Mobile Product, Initiative or
Service for Emerging Markets.
In 2009, Vivo and Ericsson -- in collaboration with Brazilian
non-governmental agency Saude & Alegria -- initiated a project to
enable communications and improved access to health, education and
economic growth in a remote part of the world. The technology and
expertise in the community eventually led to expanding applications,
raising the spirit of entrepreneurship and possibility for
A survey conducted by an independent party, the Agency for Support of
Entrepreneurs and Small Businessmen, finds that 92% of respondents
believe that mobile telephony and internet services have played a
major role in the development of the region. 53% of respondents
believe that telephony services contributed to the creation of
companies and jobs.
The first radio base station was installed in 2009 in the town of
Belterra, Para, Brazil. As planned, the base station provided an
initial 20,000 people with 3G voice and data services in an area that
previously had no mobile connectivity. This in itself was a
remarkable feat, but technicians noticed that something unexpected
was happening: the nearby Tapajos River was acting like a mirror,
magnifying the range of the 3G signal. This allowed the Abare
Hospital boat, which navigates along the river, to be connected via
broadband in 2010.
The expansion to Suruaca, on the other bank of the Tapajos River was
unique in the deployment itself, which was difficult due to dense
vegetation, lack of infrastructure and unpredictable weather. There
was no source of energy in the village so Ericsson built an
innovative hybrid system (solar and wind), which enabled a fully
functional mobile network in the Amazon.
During the four years of the project, the public-private partnership
supported the creation of a number of initiatives improving conditions
for people in the local communities.
For example, Saude & Alegria uses the Abare, a large boat, to provide
health- care services to the inhabitants of the more than 70
communities along the Tapajos River. Telefonica Vivo installed an
antenna on the boat, ensuring that the 3G signal that was being
magnified naturally by the river would be boosted even further. As a
result, anyone aboard the Abare now has access to a reliable mobile
broadband connection. Doctors aboard the Abare can consult with their
peers around the world and send X-rays and other images for expert
diagnoses. As a result, thousands of people who live in the Amazon
now benefit from high- quality medical care.
In addition, the Abare is using its mobile broadband connection to
offer the Tapajos River communities educational training programs
with the support of local universities.
In 2011, connectivity was extended to the community of Suruaca, and
Connect To Learn, Ericsson's program that brings cloud-based
education to secondary schools, was launched.
Francoise Trapenard, president of Telefonica Vivo Foundation, said:
"The region, until signal arrival of Vivo, lived the challenges of
isolation imposed by the geography of the Amazon region, is now a
place for people connected. The original motivation of this project
had a focus on education and health in order to provide, through new
connectivity technologies, learning opportunities for young riparian
and streamline the activities of medical care to the population
carried aboard the hospital ship Abare."
Caetano Scannavino, Coordinator and Founder of Saude Alegria, said:
"Most of the world thinks that the Amazon is just the jungle, with
trees and rivers -- that it's like a vacuum. But the Brazilian Amazon
is 25 million people. My dream is that all communities in the whole
of the Amazon can be connected because the world should know the
ability, the beauty, and the intelligence of these people."
Elaine Weidman-Gruenewald, Head of Sustainability and Corporate
Responsibility, Ericsson, says: "We're honored that the GSMA has
recognized our efforts but even more honored to have been part of
something as powerful as Amazon Connection. This is what technology
for good is all about."
Recognizing the important social benefits of the hospital boat
initiative, the Brazilian government has initiated a program to
launch 100 additional hospital boats. Funding for 32 of them has
already been approved, ensuring they will be operational in the near
NOTES TO EDITORS
Technology for Good
Global Mobile Awards
Flickr collection about Amazon Connection
Download high-resolution photos and broadcast-quality video at
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Amazon Connection wins 2013 Global Mobile Award:
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