Solar lamps to bring broadband to the poor

 In In the Press

Net1 Mobile Solutions is readying a “solar jar” for the poor that will double as a solar-powered wireless hotspot for broadband Internet access. By Duncan McLeod.

A solar-powered lamp, which doubles as a cellphone charger and as a fully-fledged Wi-Fi hotspot, could soon bring safe lighting to poor users in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. The next model, also due for release soon, will offer wireless broadband.

The “solar jar” project is the brainchild of Net1 Mobile Solutions, a company in the listed Net1 UEPS Technologies stable.

CEO Philip Belamant estimates that the first version of the 2kg jar, which should be released within the next two months, will cost about R270. This version, which won’t include hotspot functionality, consists of the jar, with two LED lamps — one sufficiently bright (3W) to allow people to study or read a book — and the other (1,5W) used as a torch when the jar is dismantled.

Belamant says it was essential that the main lamp was bright enough to allow schoolchildren to study at read at night without straining their eyes. Many of the other solar-powered lamps available today are not sufficiently bright, he says. Read the full story on TechCentral.

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