Conexão Amazónica [Amazon Connection]
Information and communication technologies significantly transform people’s lives, one example of which is the Brazilian Amazon, which today is connected to the world thanks to the Broad Band Internet services and third generation cellular technology that Telefónica offers.
Since 2009, the town of Belterra, with a population of 16,000 inhabitants, has had these telecommunications services thanks to an alliance between Telefónica Vivo mobile, Ericson, and the collaboration of the non-governmental agency Saúde and Alegria, who have developed a digital inclusion project that has contributed to closing the geographic divide between remote communities in the state of Pará, in the country’s North.
The arrival of telecommunications services has created significant developments in the region, among which stand out better healthcare access, education, and economic growth. According to research from the Facultad Integradas Tapajós, close to 90% of people think that the mobile telephone has changed their daily life for the better, and 53% consider it to have actively contributed to creating companies and generating jobs.
During project execution, it was discovered that the Tapojós river was acting as a magnifying glass for the 3G signal range, allowing the Abaré boat hospital, which navigates up and down the river providing health services to inhabitants of more than 70 communities, to connect to the broad band network and doctors could consult colleagues the world over, sending x-rays and other images for expert diagnoses. As a result, thousands of people that live in the Amazon benefit from quality medical care.
Additionally, the Abaré is using it mobile broad band connection to offer the Tapajós river communities educational programs with the support of local universities.
This project won the 2013 Global Mobile award for the best mobile product, Initiative or Service for Emerging Markets.
The impact of this project, in addition to showing the importance of connectivity for the development of a region, confirms that sustainable projects can be run that create new business opportunities and improve people’s lives.