Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services, and Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that partners with local communities throughout the developing world and is dedicated to promoting and enabling global education, announced today the establishment of wireless computer labs with 3G CDMA broadband Internet connectivity for rural schools in Nepal and Vietnam. Each lab includes 20-25 computers and serves as many as 50 students during a class period. In addition to providing training for students to learn basic computer skills, each lab also plans to use technology to teach other subjects such as English, math and science.
“Access to online resources and educational materials can have a life-changing impact on students. Not only will they have connectivity that enables access to learning materials and communities for the first time, but they will also have the opportunity to gain specialized skills and training,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. “Qualcomm is committed to enabling wireless technology to help improve socioeconomic conditions and enhance quality of life in local communities. I believe this project works to accomplish both of those goals and we are fortunate to be working with Room to Read, Nepal Telecom and S-Fone to address computer literacy in developing countries.”
As part of the project, five wireless labs have been established in the Kaski and Kavre regions of Nepal and six labs in Can Tho Province of southern Vietnam. Qualcomm and Room to Read are working with Nepal Telecom and S-Fone in Nepal and Vietnam, respectively, to provide broadband connectivity in schools. Through the provisioning of affordable, high-quality and reliable Internet connectivity to government schools where landline access is limited or unavailable, the wireless lab project helps underserved students bridge the digital divide and addresses the goal of universal access and opportunity in education.
“The entire Room to Read team is thrilled to have Qualcomm as a collaborator in this important pilot program,” said John Wood, founder and executive chairman of Room to Read. “By providing books and schools to nearly 10,000 communities in the developing world, Room to Read has opened up opportunities for children whose families face a cruel paradox - they are too poor to afford education, but until they have education, they will always be poor. Now, with the addition of technology and the Internet, these children will have access to a whole new world.”
Room to Read believes that all children, regardless of gender or background, have a right to education. By empowering children through this lifelong gift, Room to Read sees a world in which people are able to realize their full potential. Room to Read's programs have reached more than three million children and hopes to improve literacy for five million children by establishing over 10,000 libraries and distributing nearly nine million children's books by 2010. Room to Read is providing opportunities that change children's lives and communities throughout Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia.
“We are pleased to be a part of this important project,” said Amar Nath Singh, managing director of Nepal Telecom. “In this increasingly connected world, providing the opportunity for students to have dependable access to the Internet in their early school life initiates a completely new dimension in providing basic schooling needs to children. Teaching children how to take the best benefit from the available Information & Communications Technology opens a new chapter in their fundamental learning process.”
“Access to the Internet can provide students more educational opportunities and the ability to build upon their problem solving skills,” said Ho Hong Son, managing director of S-Telecom - CDMA Mobile Network Operator - S-Fone. “The benefit of this accessibility will help their futures as they enter into a world where most of their peers use the Internet.”
About Room to Read
Room to Read is an innovative nonprofit leader dedicated to promoting and enabling global education. Founded in 2000, the organization is based on the belief that education is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty in the developing world. Since then, the organization has supported over three million children by providing increased access to higher-quality educational opportunities. Room to Read has established more than 700 schools and over 7,000 bilingual libraries with five million books, and continues to support the education of nearly 7,000 girls. For more information, visit www.roomtoread.org.
About Nepal Telecom
Nepal Telecom is the leading and the largest telecommunications company of Nepal. A former government monopoly, it was converted into a Public Limited Company with its registered identity as “Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (NDCL)” on April 14, 2004 and its brand name as “Nepal Telecom”. With its motto “Nation Building Is Our Goal”, Nepal Telecom is continuously striving to provide a huge portfolio of telecommunications services ranging from the basic to the state-of-the-art services (including broadband Internet) in the urban to the remotest areas of the country beyond the Himalayas. For more information, please visit www.ntc.net.np.
S-Fone, the first CDMA-based mobile network in Vietnam, was inaugurated in July 2003. With a particular strategy to become the CDMA leader in the Vietnam market, S-Fone serves its customers by deploying utility applications based on the 3G standard, providing customers with various advanced value-added services launched for the first time in Vietnam such as Live TV, VOD, MOD and Mobile Internet. Besides, S-Fone will also consider upgrading its network to EV-DO Rev. A as well as applying HSDPA (WCDMA) technologies in the coming years apart from further developing its services based on CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO technology.
About Wireless Reach
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 underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care, sustain the environment and reach global markets. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) 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 100 Index, the S&P 500 Index and is a 2009 FORTUNE 500® company. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com.