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Connecting the newly connected to opportunities

(Nov. 2022) Providing network coverage to the world’s isolated communities can be an enormous challenge. But once it’s been achieved, some training may be required to ensure that users are aware of the world of opportunities that connectivity provides. 

“It’s important to ensure our children are digitally literate, which should start with introducing them to communications technologies,” says Sri Wahyuningsih, Head of Elementary Schools at the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture. “We need to teach them how to properly access and use them.” 

Sri Wahyuningsih

Currently, Huawei is working with local partners in Indonesia to provide network access to the country’s residents who are dispersed on about 17,500 islands. In the province of Papua alone, Huawei and local operator BAKTI are building hundreds of communications towers. Once connectivity is available, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology then provides educational seminars. 

In the small Papuan city of Sorong (population, 270,000), Teguh Iskandar Hidayat Alam, head of public relations and business development at the University of Muhammadiyah, is one of the instructors. His practical seminars are well attended, with a large proportion of women in the class. 

“We must provide more literacy seminars to support the development of human resources,” Teguh says. His classes focuses on four areas, that he calls the four pillars of digital literacy: digital skills, digital creativity, digital security, and how to detect online hoaxes. 

Teguh teaching

“Over five days, I learned how to promote my products on social media such as FaceBook, Instagram, and TikTok,” says one of the attendees, Rani Inseren Sowor. The Sorong resident opened in the summer of 2022 a shop retailing her handicraft. “I really need to be part of in-depth learning about digital literacy and social media, and this is just the beginning,” she says. 

Huawei has developed a wide range of products, technologies, and knowhow to provide connectivity for the tens of millions of people around the world who are still unconnected. This includes low-cost antennas; solar power, batteries, and energy-management systems; and a vast range of microwave links that can reach isolated communities.

Rani Inseren Sowor

The solutions can be basic and highly affordable, or more sophisticated, depending on local needs. Huawei’s highly economical RuralStar solution represents a complete rethink of base station design. RuralStar is made up of robust but simple telecommunications components. The kit requires so little energy to operate that a few solar panels are enough. More complex “Butterfly Sites” are set up on taller antenna poles. They typically can provide network coverage over several frequency bands and can serve a wider territory because of their height. 

Learn more about the importance of digital literacy in Papua in the video below.