Bakrie Telecom supports Grameen projectSeptember 2008
Indonesia’s first village phone programme, providing affordable wireless telecommunications in rural communities, is being introduced through a co-operative effort between two telecoms companies and the Grameen Foundation, a non-profit body combining microfinance, technology and innovation to benefit poor communities.
Grameen has established village phone programmes in many parts of the world but this is the first using the third-generation enhanced CDMA technology.
The foundation, with Bakrie Telecom, a pioneer in Indonesia’s telecoms industry, and the US company Qualcomm, will work with local microfinance institutions to enable clients to borrow the money for village phones.
Village phone operators set up under the scheme will provide affordable rates to customers so they can earn enough to repay their loans and produce profits, which in turn will allow them to invest in family health, nutrition and education and to finance other ventures.
An important part of the programme is the empowerment of women, who have a significant role in augmenting the family income but lack access to economic resources.
Anindya N. Bakrie, president director of PT Bakrie Telecom Tbk, said: ‘This is a breakthrough in Indonesia’s telecommunication industry and for Bakrie Telecom, as well as a valuable instrument to help Indonesia’s rural communities to enhance the economic and social livelihoods of those who are underserved.’
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