Recharging connectivity for the developing world
Thursday, 11 November, 2021

Recharging connectivity for the developing world

It is estimated that around 700 million people with access to a mobile phone do not have power, including 300 million in India alone. Two product design companies, A2E and Wideblue, along with tech startup BuffaloGrid, have come up with a solution by designing a mobile phone charging hub that has internet connection and can charge multiple phones at one time with power supplied by solar panels. This new hub will help unconnected communities across the world to access digital services.

The prototype device is being used in mobile operator shops in rural parts of India where the electricity supply is unreliable and intermittent plus in refugee camps across the world. This means users can charge their phones for free when the electricity supply is down. BuffaloGrid is planning to commercially supply hundreds of new hubs in the next 12 months and is in talks with the United Nations regarding projects in Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Haiti and Rwanda.

When it came to designing the prototype hub BuffaloGrid turned to Scotland-based A2E and Wideblue, two companies in the Pivot International group, to help with the technical details. Wideblue worked on the mechanical design and A2E on the electronics and software. When the device goes into volume production Pivot will handle manufacturing through its production facilities in Asia.

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