Fraunhofer FOKUS NET4DC - Connecting The Unconnected develops technologies to provide access to global communication infrastructures and services for rural, emerging and developing areas.

The targeted areas of Net4DCs activity portfolio are:

  • A Think Tank: gathering studies, concepts and evaluation of sustainable solutions to provide information on communication technologies in developing countries; bringing together international experts and partners from target areas in Africa, Asia and South America;
  • Hands-on-Technology: providing a real-world test and evaluation environment for rural suited technology and services, with deployment expertise in challenging regions;
  • Performing R&D Activities at the cutting edge of technology, driving ICT for development into the future of a connected global community;

NET4DC challenges include:

  • development of a –continuously updated– roadmap towards all-inclusion;
  • initiating R&D projects to install an initial wireless wide-area communication infrastructure for rural deployment;
  • launching research and development projects to overcome existing technical limitations;
  • technical solutions and use-cases for sustainable service deployment in developing countries;
  • installation of a wireless communication infrastructure towards a proof-of-concept demonstrator for new technologies and services;
  • field-trials in rural regions to evaluate real-world deployment;
  • organization of workshops and conferences to foster dissemination and inter-disciplinary research.

While Fraunhofer focuses on technical aspects to connect the unconnected, national and international partners also investigate business, social and political implications of technology transfer.