Wednesday, May 26, 2010

VNL, Community Radio and other thoughts

I think the future of community radio in many countries in West and East Africa means a move towards the role of community media centres. Radio will remain a core function of what they do, but villages will also add services that help members of the community do business, keep healthy, read at night, access family and friends abroad. To me this means a much closer cooperation with the mobile operators. This may be on the content side (SMS services in local languages) but it may also mean sharing towers, power and security. At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, they gave a prize to an Indian company exhibiting for the second time.

VNL now has nearly 100 base stations operating in India using solar power. The panel technology is much better than before and I believe we have reached a point where radio stations need to learn from the ways the companies like vnl in India have made it simple for a village to install its own base station. It is a question of plug and start calling. I have no connection with them. Just think they have got their ideas right.
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