Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and data solutions, announced today it is working to improve access to education tools and resources through the provision of CDMA2000 1xEV-DO wireless broadband services at the Community Technology and Learning Center (CTLC) in Dong Anh, Vietnam. The CTLC is part of the Training Online Programs and Incubation for Communities (TOPIC64) initiative, supported by USAID's public/private partnership agreement with Qualcomm through its Wireless Reach™ initiative and other TOPIC64 partners.
Wireless Reach, along with United States Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Mr. Michael Michalak, and TOPIC64 partners from Electricity Vietnam Telecom (EVNTelecom), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and the Center for Research and Consulting on Management (CRC), are working together to empower underserved communities in each of Vietnam's 64 provinces by establishing CTLCs with computers, software and Internet connectivity via 3G CDMA wireless technology. Each organization contributed to the project by providing software, equipment, technical support, management fees for implementing and administrating the project and wireless equipment.
“One of my primary goals as the U.S. Ambassador is to actively pursue initiatives for enhancing educational opportunities for Vietnamese citizens,” said Michael Michalak, United States Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. “TOPIC64 is an excellent example of the power of public-private partnerships to facilitate education in Vietnam by bringing affordable wireless voice and data services to rural areas and creating learning opportunities for Vietnamese communities.”
“Wireless Reach is committed to actively support the Vietnamese government in improving Internet penetration rates and the overall educational environment,” said Ming Li, vice-president of business development for Qualcomm. “TOPIC64 cultivates new learning opportunities in Vietnam through the provision of 3G Internet access and Microsoft materials that have been translated into Vietnamese with corresponding training. The CTLCs offer an avenue for local people to get trained on practical applications and skills that hopefully can translate into jobs for them.”
TOPIC64 was launched in April 2006 as one of Qualcomm's first Wireless Reach projects. It seeks to educate Vietnamese citizens in basic IT, management and marketing skills by providing technical expertise via teacher training and technical support at each of the CTLCs. With the project's 64 CTLCs established, Qualcomm and EVNTelecom have invested in upgrading the Dong Anh center to EV-DO to enable additional services and enhanced educational learning opportunities on EVNTelecom's new broadband wireless network. In 2006, the Development Gateway Award selected TOPIC64 from 160 projects worldwide into the seven finalists for excellence in application of ICT for communities. In 2007, the Stockholm Challenge Award also named TOPIC64 among the three international finalists for ICT application in education.
“To date, approximately 24,000 students have been trained with the centers' basic IT training program, about 840 teachers have been tested and trained about the new curriculum and teaching methodology,” said Dr. Tuan Pham, director of CRC. “The importance of ICT in Vietnam's education has increased significantly over the past few years, and with the upgrade to EV-DO technology, we hope to promote other online learning opportunities for rural citizens, as well as potentially work with the Vietnamese government to provide government services online.”
“Being well aware of TOPIC64's importance and social benefit and its reliance on our cutting-edge CDMA technology network, EVNTelecom is pleased to be providing high-speed Internet access, free CPE, one-year free services for CTLC and 24/7 technical support for the project,” said Mr Nguyen Manh Bang, CEO of EVNTelecom, a subsidiary of EVN Group now operating a CDMA2000 450Mhz cellular mobile network nationwide, and one of three full-licensed telecom operators in Vietnam.
EV-DO is a data-optimized, all-IP evolution of CDMA2000® that provides multi-megabit-per-second peak rates and average rates of hundreds of kilobits per second at a lower cost per bit than any other 3G technology available today, an increasingly important factor as wireless services become richer in content. EV-DO makes wireless broadband possible, leading to exciting multimedia capabilities for consumers, productivity benefits for corporate users and cost efficiencies, as well as revenue opportunities and improved ROI for operators. Since EV-DO offers higher system throughput, the cost of transferring each bit of data is lower, enabling low-cost offerings for consumers, mobile professionals and residential customers alike.
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative supports programs and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to developing communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care and reach global markets. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2007 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.