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Pakistani researchers develop a portable solar-powered mobile network

Written by TechJuice ·  1 min read >
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Pakistani researchers have developed a portable, solar-powered free-of-cost mobile network for usage in disasters like floods, earthquakes or any other natural calamity when regular network’s communication stops working.

The group of researchers working on this project belongs to Information Technology University, Lahore and University of California. The project is named Rescue Base Station for Pakistan(RBS) – country’s first portable network for mobile phones.

While talking about the usage and functionality of this system, Umar Saif, ITU Vice Chancellor and an Adviser to the project explained,

“When the RBS is installed in a disaster-struck area, people automatically start receiving its signals on their mobile phones. They can manually choose it and then call, send messages and even browse (internet) data free of charge.”

RBS can turn out to be very helpful in situations where after a natural calamity or disaster, the affectees need to get in touch with rescue workers to get aid and support. RBS is a very small portable light weight rectangular box with all the circuitry included in the box. This box can be dropped to places hit by a disaster and owing to which the people at that particular area can instantly change the network and start utilizing their smartphones for rescue operations. RBS works within a radius of 3KM.
RBS’s first pilot is expected to be done in partnership with National Disaster Management Authority and a local telecom company. According to official data, Pakistan’s massive population of 116 million out of 185 million use cellphones.

RBS can also be used for getting information in messages using predefined and preformatted text messages. For example, one could recieve the names and details of firefighters in the area by simply messaging “Occupation: Firefighters” on the network.There are other predefined keywords for similar purposes too.

Pakistan is a country which has often been struck by disasters. According to Reuters, an estimated 6 to 14 billion dollars are needed to adapt to climate change, through 2050. RBS can be commercialized and put to good use in rural areas of Pakistan, where there are often no services and help available.

Source: Reuters

Written by TechJuice
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