Aug 10, 2010SANTA CRUZ CABRÁLIA, BRAZIL
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Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, Vivo, the largest mobile telecommunications company in Brazil with more than 56 million subscribers, Instituto Ambiental Brasil Sustentável (IABS), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ZTE Brazil, a provider of telecommunications equipment, and the municipality of Santa Cruz Cabrália today launched Fishing with 3G Nets which will foster economic development and increase public safety by promoting digital and social inclusion for isolated fishermen and mariculture (oyster) cultivators.
This project provides implementation funding and technical assistance to Instituto Ambiental Brasil Sustentável, a Brazilian organization that works on projects in support of sustainable development. The project has created a system that integrates mobile and web-based applications and handheld devices to support business operations and deliver real-time safety information to participating fishermen in Santa Cruz Cabrália. Fishing is one of the primary economic activities in the region with many families depending on it for their livelihood, but recently, the industry has suffered from over-fishing, lack of investment and old infrastructure. As a result, incomes have decreased for the local municipality and people, which has led to reduced opportunities and a migration of family members in search of jobs. This project comes at a time when the fishermen of Santa Cruz Cabrália need to modernize their operations and institutionalize sustainable fishing tactics. As part of the project, participants have been given mobile devices with mobile credit to access to Vivo’s 3G HSUPA wireless network, which enables participants to directly connect from offshore to land with consumers and business partners through both voice and data. Customized software applications were built to provide them with navigation, weather, marketing, direct sales, data collection and technical support; therefore fishermen have support for their activities with real-time analysis and relevant information.
“Our work with the municipality of Santa Cruz Cabrália, ZTE, USAID, IABS and Vivo has allowed fishermen and farmers in these underserved communities to gain access to information that will improve their trade,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president for the Americas and India for Qualcomm. “3G mobile technology is making a difference to people in these areas that would otherwise not have access to information that is critical to their safety and economic development.”
In addition to the provided devices, training centers have been established in the town of Santa Cruz Cabrália and on a boat which is able to reach and train more remote fishing communities.
“We appreciate the kind assistance of Qualcomm, Vivo, USAID, ZTE and the municipality of Santa Cruz Cabrália,” said André Macedo Brügger, interim president of Fishing with 3G Nets at Instituto Ambiental Brasil Sustentável. “This project supports workers in modernizing their business and sustainability practices and will ultimately foster economic growth in our communities.”
IABS’ goal is to create models and conditions needed for the sustainable development of local fishing communities by strengthening socio-environmental management and economic development. This modeling results in the integration of traditional knowledge and practices of local fishers with current alternatives, which is facilitated by the use of applications and services supported by 3G technology.
“The knowledge, educational and social initiatives, as well as new sales experiences can be intensified through mobile connectivity,” said Roberto Lima, president of Vivo. “The Fishing with 3G Nets project demonstrates that the access to telecommunications is a driver for social and economic growth, especially in the most isolated areas of a country with continental dimensions, such as Brazil.”
In addition to extending coverage – the urban area of Santa Cruz Cabrália already has Vivo’s 3G coverage – Vivo has donated devices and data services to be used on the boats and at the computer lab built at the Fisherman House, headquarters of the region’s fishermen association. Fishermen can enjoy real time access – on land or at sea – to navigation and weather conditions. They can also use voice and data to communicate with their business partners and their clients. Vivo is the leading mobile company in Brazil and has recently announced its project to install its 3G HSUPA networks in more than 2800 cities throughout the country by the end of 2011. As demonstrated by Vivo’s success case in Belterra, in the Northern area of Brazil, the company has a strong supportive agenda to empower distant communities through a wireless network, enabling them to connect to the rest of the world.
“As a telecom equipment manufacturer, we understand the importance of enabling a sustainable society,” said Eliandro Neves Ávila, CEO of ZTE Brazil. “Corporate social responsibility is closely integrated with our business and we are pleased to contribute our technical expertise to help improve the lives of the people living in this remote part of Brazil.”
“The practical applications of technology are vital to expanding the economy in Brazil and increasing the value of local goods and services,” said Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Kubiske from the United States Embassy in Brazil. “The partnership between the United States and Brazil will be strengthened through the application of innovative technology used to foster safety and sustainability of the fishing industry, as well as to improve the economic livelihoods of fishermen.”
“I am very proud of our community and see the positive things we all can achieve when we work together,” said Mayor Jorge Pontes. “I look forward to the many benefits this access to technology and these training centers will bring to our people.”
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
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.
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