This short documentary describes how the people of Mankosi in rural South Africa established their own telecommunications network called Zenzeleni in partnership with University of Western Cape Department of Computer Science.
Mankosi encompasses 12 villages with around of 3,500 people. Among the biggest challenges is that there is no electricity to charge cell phones and that people have very limited funds to spend on mobile airtime.
The solution was a solar-powered mesh network using scattered node devices hosted in selected households. Local calls are free, calls to other cell phones are discounted, and the fee for charging phones is low.
Learn more on Zenzeleni.net.