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How Wireless Access is Creating Opportunity

I attended Mobile World Congress for the first time this year, and the energy and enthusiasm was palpable. More than 72,000 attendees from 200-plus countries traveled to Barcelona to see inspiring and innovative advances in mobile technology.

Working for Qualcomm Wireless Reach however, gives me a slightly different perspective. Mobile technology is so much more than navigation assistance or instant restaurant reviews; it holds the key to truly transformative impacts for underserved communities around the world. According to The World Bank, 75 percent of the world now has access to a mobile phone. With this increase in access, comes an increase in opportunity.

At Mobile World Congress we were excited to share a few of our current projects that are making life better in health, entrepreneurship and education. For those who couldn’t make it to Barcelona, a recap of our activities is detailed below and includes links to additional resources.

Wireless Reach showcased two projects in the digital sixth sense section of the Qualcomm booth, which was highlighted as one of the ten best booths of the show. We showcased Project RAY and announced a new project in collaboration with Telefonica Learning Services and the Center for Higher Digital Education, which focuses on empowering young entrepreneurs in Spain.

Project RAY demonstrates the power of advanced wireless smartphone technology through the creation of the RAY device, an always-on, easy-to-use, multi-function, mobile phone with a user interface optimized for eye-free interaction. Poised to become the new gold standard in accessibility tools for blind and visually impaired people, the RAY solution uniquely enhances the typical Android smartphone and makes mobile technology available to an underserved population.

The Fostering Young Innovative Entrepreneurship Project is establishing one of the first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on mobile application development and entrepreneurship. Students can work through the course in approximately seven weeks and, upon completion, are able to leverage Qualcomm technologies such as Vuforia and Alljoyn to build compelling applications and monetize their ideas for digital businesses. Beginning with Spain, the project's goal is to demonstrate how Qualcomm technology can foster an entrepreneurial community on mobile application development, create new business opportunities for young people and overcome the deficit of digital entrepreneurs.

Returning from the Congress, our team is excited about leveraging the momentum behind the mobile platform to continue catalyzing unprecedented impact for underserved communities globally.

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