Using Mobile Cell Phones to help achieve SDG4.
SDG4 is short for Sustainable Development Goal 4, and is one of 17 goals.
The 17 goals were set up in 2015, by the United Nations.
SDG4 is concerned with education.
Specifically the goal is to provide ‘Quality Education’ for all of the worlds children and youths.
The goal also promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all of the worlds population.
However in a recent ITU (International Telecommunications Union) meeting (available on YouTube), it was stated that in 2023, only 15% of the target has been achieved.
So we are half way through the SDG goals target timeline, yet have only achieved 15% of the target.
The Challenge is Remote
One of the challenges of providing education to every child, is remoteness.
Children in isolated communities may not have access to schools.
Even if some form of school exists, a lack of teacher training, affects attainment outcomes.
So why can’t they just Google it?
The internet has revolutionised access to education for millions, but millions still don’t have access to the Internet.
In fact less than half of the worlds population still currently has no Internet access.
Factors causing this include extreme poverty, but also connectivity issues.
There are two main ways that the Internet is delivered to people.
The first is via Mobile or Cell Phone data.
The second way is via cables under the ground.
Connecting a community to the Internet via these two methods, can be uneconomic.
It can be uneconomic due to Socio-Economic and Population Density issues.
Basically what that means is the people are too poor to afford it, and / or there are two few in one place, for a telecommunications provider to make a profit.
So how can phones help?
There is now a third way of connecting to the Internet.
The third way uses standard Mobile Cell Phones, but connects to the network in a different way.
The different way is via Satellite.
Whilst Satellite phones have existed for a long time, they were specialised pieces of equipment, and used traditional Geostationary Satellites, at high orbits from the earth.
New technology using what are known as LEO, or Low Earth Orbit Satellites.
LEO Satellites orbit the earth at a much closer distance, than traditional communication satellites.
This has reduces latency.
Latency is the time it takes for the radio signal to go from earth to the satellite, and back down to earth.
Reduced latency allows for effective online learning to take place, in the same way that it can via traditional terrestrial based Internet communications infrastructure.
Direct communications to Mobile Cell Phones, from LEO Satellite, is now a reality, with several pioneering companies now operating satellites services.
This technology has the potential to help achieve SDG4, and provide Quality Education for all.