The future lives on the internet. People around the world want to connect, learn and grow together. At the base level of modern communication, we find internet and telecommunication services. These industries allow for a global digital dialogue the likes of which the world has never known. There are many countries that lack affordable internet and telephone service. When an individual is excluded from the shared digital dialogue, their voice is taken away. This not only deprives the individual, but also does the same to the online community.
World Mobile is on a mission to bring internet connectivity and telecom services to underserved and unconnected communities around the world. Cardano provides the tools to allow users connect to the internet without having to rely on a centralized provider, which can be expensive and unreliable in many parts of the world.
The World Mobile Team ended an eventful February by attending the Mobile World Congress Summit in Barcelona, Spain. The team also submitted the World Mobile app to Google Play – it will soon be available to users in Zanzibar, where people will be able to experience connectivity thanks to local entrepreneurs who are collaborating with World Mobile to bring modern telecom services to remote areas.
An important part of the service is the AirNode, which has an upcoming firmware update that will serve as one of the final steps before the service truly goes live for users in Zanzibar. There is also active rollout work being done in Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and the USA, along with upcoming announcements in Asia.
The World Mobile project is the brainchild of Micky Watkins, who is leveraging his experience in the telecoms industry to inform the development and implementation of the new network.
Energy Efficient and Sustainable
The project’s whitepaper details how World Mobile will address the “key issues in the current business models of existing network operators.” One of these issues is energy consumption, which can be costly both economically and environmentally. The solution is “a lower power intensive architecture combined with a solar battery solution to significantly reduce these costs.” The system is also designed to be self-sustaining and support the decentralized growth of the network and its services. The team wants to keep the operation costs of the network as low as possible, and thus as inclusive and accessible as possible.
Three different types of nodes help make the distributed network possible:
- Earth Nodes: Think of these as the “the brain” containing the “core logic of the World Mobile Chain system.” They are comprised of the following modules: The Internode API, Decentralized Identity module, Blockchain module, and Telecom module.
- Air Nodes: Telephone coverage and internet access for users begins here. The Air Nodes not only provide coverage, but they also pass the user authentication information to the Earth Node, which sends back the details on the user account balance along with a list of the services they have access to. The Air Node meters usage accordingly and sends a transaction back to the Earth Node upon completion of the user session.
- Aether Nodes: These are needed to “interface with legacy telecommunications networks.” A minimum of one is required in each country to provide service.
World Mobile is designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic background. Anyone can connect to the internet using a low-cost mobile device. The network will be maintained by a community of local entrepreneurs who will be incentivized to provide reliable connectivity to their local areas. This isn’t about reinventing the wheel, rather making the wheel bigger… I don’t know how well that analogy works, but I tried. Regardless, we shouldn’t underestimate the massive impact that bringing modern telecom services to unconnected communities could have. There are voices waiting to be heard, innovations waiting to be unleashed!
According to the whitepaper, the desired outcome of the World Mobile inventive model is “good quality service and increased coverage.” World Mobile Token (WMT) exists to incentive “the token holders that want to support the operation of the network as well as node operators…” Transaction fees will be paid out to node operators, who can “share the fees with participants who have staked their WMTs to their nodes.” The WMT staking mechanism is based off Cardano’s Ouroboros protocol.
Fees paid by users will be distributed to nodes. Inflation rewards will be earned by node operators and WMT stakers. Nodes will get rewards by producing blocks and committing them to the chain – these blocks contain financial settlement data as well as metadata (call records). Additional services can be provided by node operators to users, which will generate increased WMT rewards for the node.
Earth nodes will provide two types of services at launch: Communication as a Service (voice and sms) and Network as a Services (internet access). By embracing the Cardano blockchain’s ethos of pushing power to the edges, then applying it to one of the most consequential industries in the modern world, World Mobile is breaking new ground and creating a truly innovative system for connecting the globe in a decentralized manner.
The World Mobile project has received significant backing from the Cardano community. The project has garnered support from Charles Hoskinson and IOG.
The World Mobile project is ambitious and a work in progress. Using blockchain technology to bring internet connectivity to regions around the world is the type of massive undertaking that Cardano was built for. It’s a secure and scalable platform for the World Mobile ecosystem to use as a foundation. The project has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people around the world by providing access to the vital services of phone coverage and internet access at affordable prices.