Voice telephony has been the main option for providing access to telecommunications in rural areas.
• Each rural district or community requires a different mix of voice, text, image, video and audio communications to best meet its needs
• Telecommunication network operators must be able to support the widest possible range of services and/or applications and different bandwidth levels at a reasonable cost.
• The Internet (with the unavailability of IP network in a rural area) is the most widely used platform used to deliver multimedia applications in rural areas of developing countries.
• Satellite broadcasting has also been widely adopted in distance education programs and other videoconferencing based consultations in remote areas.
• The two platforms are expected to converge as Internet broadcasting and satellite-based Internet links continue to be developed
• Today, a wide variety of new applications are being introduced for rural communities
The following are basic requirements for communication systems deployed in rural areas of developing countries:
• Implementation and operation are possible at a low cost in areas where population density is low.
• The system can be easily installed, even in remote and inaccessible locations.
• System operation and maintenance may be carried out even where qualified technical personnel is scarce.
• Implementation is possible even when basic infrastructure such as mains: electricity, running water, paved road networks, etc., are absent.
• An increasing number of technologies are available that can meet the above requirements at a reasonable cost to rural network operators.