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Ericsson to Provide Mobile Services in Ugandan Refugee Camps

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Ericsson has announced it would partner with the GSMA Development Fund, MTN Uganda, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide connectivity to refugee camps in Adjumani, northern Uganda. The initiative will address the urgent need for access to affordable communication for refugees.

The Refugee Connectivity Project is designed to demonstrate that access to voice and data communications can be carried out in an affordable and sustainable way in refugee camps and settlements. The GSMA Development Fund in partnership with Ericsson, the UNHCR and MTN Uganda will pilot the introduction of mobile connectivity into refugee camps and settlements.

Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, says: "I commend the work of Ericsson to bring much needed mobile communications to refugee settlements. The UNHCR's primary purpose is to protect the rights and well-being of refugees, and connectivity not only allows refugees to connect with families and communities at home, but it also enables entrepreneurialism, drives education and provides opportunity and hope for the future."

Ericsson will support the pilot by extending networks into previously unconnected areas or by upgrading existing GSM networks to provide voice and data capabilities. This will include the required technical solution, alternative power sources as appropriate, as well as the development of possible mobile applications and the provision of phones, in cooperation with Sony Ericsson.

Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson, says: "Sony Ericsson is happy and proud to support and simplify the life of refugees and refugee workers who rely on mobile phones as their only means of communications in harsh and difficult circumstances."

Provision of real-time data on refugee management, including effective distribution of food, stimulation of employment, and income generation for refugees by enabling entrepreneurship, are some additional benefits of the project.

Noel Meier, CEO of MTN Uganda, says: "MTN is delighted to support this pioneering initiative that highlights how GSM communications can be used to improve the quality of life for some of the most marginalized communities within the African continent."

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Tags: mtn uganda  mtn  gsma  united nations  unhcr  Uganda