Ericsson has launched a trial rural broadband project in Tamil Nadu to deliver telemedicine and interactive education services at an affordable price in India's villages.
Ericsson is looking at increased adoption of wireless broadband technologies in India, the fastest growing market for mobile phone services, as it feels rural masses will pay for services such as telemedicine and entertainment and see it as a viable business model, not as a CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative. Ericsson will offer wireless broadband services via 3G (short for third generation) network in 15 towns in Mahabalipuram district, 60km south of Chennai. Different services will be provided by different entities: Apollo Hospitals Ltd for telemedicine and Bangalore-bas-ed Edurite Technologies for education content. Other partners include CNN and Cartoon Network. The telemedicine will be charged at Rs2 a day for a family.