Bridging the Digital Divide | digitalLEARNING Magazine
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Bridging the Digital Divide

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DatawindOne of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is to bridge the digital divide that exists in the world population. Most new technological inventions and gadgets are primarily focused on the developed first-world populations which have the purchasing power for such innovations and services. Billions of people are still without access to Internet, which is now being considered a human
right in the Western world. Datawind believes that its products and technology are a solution to this problem.

Datawind Accolades

  • Shiksha Ratna Award by digital LEARNING State Education Summit 2013
  • UK’s Most Innovative Mobile Company Award – 2012, by UK Trade & Investment, a government department
  • Datawind CEO honoured as “Entrepreneur of Year 2012” by The Sikh Directory, London
  • CNBC TV 18 and Mercedez Benz “Young Turks Innovation of Year” Award 2011
  • Datawind founders received the “Technology Achievement Award” by the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce presented by the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, Joseph Oliver, and ICCC President, Satish Thakkar (Toronto)
  • Datawind CEO listed among “Forbes Top 15 Classroom Revolutionaries List” for Education Innovation

Datawind has broken this price barrier by creating an Internet-capable device, which costs the equivalent of a typical week’s salary in India, about `2,500. Datawind’s products are built around its breakthrough web-delivery platform, covered by 18 US patents, which reduces network load and delivers a fast and efficient web experience on today’s congested mobile networks. The content delivery is accelerated by factors of 10x to 30x – resulting in a superior mobile web experience at a lower cost. Rich web content can be now be downloaded at a fraction of usual costs. Datawind products will be delivering anytime, anywhere Internet access to its users for `99 monthly unlimited data plan over GPRS networks. This means users all over India will be able to get online anywhere they get a cell phone signal (added Wi-Fi functionality, if you are at a hotspot). Additionally, the device can also be used as a cell phone to make phone calls. This opens the door for creating custom solutions for India’s population that has been left out till now, but will be joining the Internet age. It decreases the disparity of education through technology among the less developed nations, therefore, bridging the digital divide between gender, income and age group. Intended to empower a better quality of education through affordable devices and mobile access, Datawind’s Aakash/UbiSlate tablets deliver the power of billions of web pages of content and communication to students anytime and everywhere.

Datawind has been named a finalist for the Global Mobile Awards 2012 (GSMA) in the category for the Best Mobile Innovation for Education. Datawind’s innovative solution at breakthrough pricing was chosen from six hundred applicants, and this recognition validates the critical need to break the affordability barrier for devices and network access in bridging the digital divide in the developing world.

This technological innovation of developing a sustainable business model and market potential also links strongly to institutional systems like virtual learning environments and Management Information Systems.

Datawind’s innovative products have brought the attention of the world to the possibility of creating a sustainable business solution to  cater to the underserved sections of the global society. Enabling users to have Internet access over GPRS networks at high speeds on an affordable data plan is a revolutionary phenomenon which can bring the next billion users into the Internet age.

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