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Solar-powered Wi-Fi is being installed in Kenya's western Rift Valley Province in a move to give local people easy access to the internet for the first time.
The pilot project – named Mawingu, the Swahili word for "cloud" – is part of an initiative by Microsoft and local telecoms firms to provide affordable, high-speed wireless broadband to rural areas. If and when it is rolled out nationwide, as planned, it will mean that Kenya could lead the way with a model of wireless broadband access that in the West has been tied up in red tape.
Because many villages in the area have no power, Microsoft is working with Kenyan telecoms firm Indigo to install solar-powered base stations that supply a wireless signal at a bandwidth that falls into what is called the "white spaces" spectrum.