The village-phone scheme pioneered by GrameenPhone in Bangladesh has been successfully implemented in Uganda and Rwanda by South Africa’s MTN, and in the Philippines by Globe Telecom. The common thread to these replications is consulting advice from the Technology Group at Grameen Foundation USA.
After several years working out the kinks and writing manuals to ease implemenation, Grameen Foundation has now released a Village Phone Direct kit, which it sells to microfinance institutions around the globe. The kit includes:
- Nokia mobile phone with earpiece
- External booster antenna for areas without strong mobile signal coverage
- Custom designed cables to connect the phone to the antenna and the recharging equipment such as a automobile battery or a solar panel
To complete the Village Phone Equipment Kit for the microfinance client, a SIM card and prepaid airtime, which can be purchased through regular outlets.