Fostering digital inclusion for rural Peru
31May 2018

Plagued by difficult terrain, Peru has struggled to establish rural connectivity across its villages. VNL helped reduce the divide between urban and rural Peru by bringing connectivity to more than 200 villages in Peru.

Like many developing countries, Peru faces significant barriers to improving access to mobile connectivity. But unlike other developing countries, Peru’s connectivity problems largely rest on its daunting topography. Terrain of the mountains and the swamps of the world’s largest river don’t exactly make deploying a mobile network using traditional methods in rural areas of Peru, easy. Over time, the digital divide between the urban and rural areas remained unbridgeable.

Until of course, the Peruvian government announced a connectivity model, called Rural Mobile Infrastructure Operator (OIMR), designed especially for underserved rural areas. OIMR proved to be a vitally important fix for the Peruvian connectivity problem. The effect has been dramatic, at least for MayuTel - country’s first OIMR and the 200 plus regions that are now connected with voice and data, much like their urban counterpart. The highlands of Apurimac, Ancash, Ayacucho and Cusco all the way to the Amazon regions of San Martin and Ucayali today enjoy complete cellular coverage - something that was earlier unthinkable for the now-connected population of a lac.

VNL takes pride in realising the OIMR model to its fruition. In VNL’s rural network solution, MayuTel found a system that fulfilled all its requirements and brought about a paradigm shift in how mobile network sites are usually deployed world-wide.

VNL’s cellular station at San Francisco, Cajamarca, Peru

Working against all odds, VNL’s solution cut through the rugged topography of the Andes, to be installed swiftly using unskilled, local resources and using renewable energy to power up sites in areas which were off-grid.

Omar Tupayachi, MayuTel’s General Manager felt VNL’s rural solution was key in making his rural mobile operator business possible - “We were looking for a robust infrastructure but one that could also be deployed quickly, without the need to install expensive hardware and elaborate infrastructure such as gen-sets & air conditioning. With the ability to run on solar energy at the heart of their solution, along with low OPEX and CAPEX, VNL’s solution fit our needs just right.”

From farmers to home-makers to small-scale enterprises in rural Peru, economic opportunities are now quickly unfolding for a variety of people and segments because of uninterrupted use of mobile phones. Mobile-first applications like e-Banking, e-Health, e-Governance and e-Education are not only simplifying lives but are also attracting service workers to remote communities to extend their services where they are needed the most.

Thanks to OIMR, the entry of more, new mobile operators willing to serve rural and remote areas of the country is now imminent. And VNL is happy to serve anyone willing to bridge the rural-urban connectivity divide.

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