WWRF in Caribbean Region

WWRF representative, Vino Vinodrai, made a presentation on “5G for Island States and Developing Countries”, (presentation is attached). WWRF presentation included examples of how broadband can contribute to better healthcare in rural and remote areas. Water quality, public safety and E-education were some other examples.

The event was attended by over 160 delegates from 14 countries from the Caribbean and beyond.

The conference focused on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, ICTs are radically changing the world in which we live and contributing positively to development and economic growth. Access to broadband is integral to meeting the sustainable development goals, and the Forum heard how

Caribbean countries have embraced the need for affordable broadband access.

The opening ceremony was addressed by dignitaries from across the region including Ministers.

Many of them highlighted the importance of the Caribbean Regional Digital Development Agenda and the need to have a Single ICT Space in the Caribbean – both initiatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Have a look at the whole presentation >>>

 

 

Alejandro Islas López sets new path, with help from WWRF

Hi, first of all let me introduce myself. My name is Alejandro, a telecommunications engineer who recently decided to abandon the private sector and joined the public service to actively participate in the engineering and technology challenges that my country, Mexico, faces. Truth be told, this is a transition I started little less than 3 years ago and the World Wireless Research Forum and the people I met at it had an important role to play, so here's the story.

After obtaining my engineering degree, for more than 10 years, I focused my career in the design and development of all kinds of machine-to-machine wireless systems, mainly based on mobile networks. During that time, I was lucky enough to participate in all the different stages of the development cycle and designed systems for different markets, such as financial transactional networks, industrial telemetry and precision agriculture.

Even though I had a great job that kept challenging me, I realized my career as an engineer was not having the social impact I always thought it would have. In the end, I've always been a believer that engineering must be an engine of social welfare. Acknowledging that I needed tools from outside the engineering world that would help me obtain a better understanding of the socio-economic context of any technology-related project, I decided to pursue a Master of Engineering in Public Policy at McMaster University, Canada.

During my Grad School experience, and thanks to a joint research program between McMaster and the United Nations University I was part of, I focused my research on ICT4D, with a special interest in the use of mobile phones for environmental protection purposes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Among all the people I met during my time in Canada, one of the most encouraging ones was Vino Vinodrai, an Adjunct Professor of McMaster's School of Engineering Practice and WWRF Treasurer. Since we met, Vino not only helped me with insightful advices but also got me interested in the activities the WWRF develops. As a result, I was able to present my research at the 33rd WWRF Meeting at Vancouver, Canada, in late 2013. Besides presenting my ICT4D research, attending the WWRF meeting was definitely a great experience. The different, but complementing, topics each of the meeting working groups offered were a really comprehensive summary of the challenges & opportunities the wireless world faces form different perspectives.

My interaction with the WWRF didn't stop after attending the 33rd meeting. Because the research I presented was based on Sub-Saharan Africa, it was selected to be published as part of a book edited by WWRF called “The African Mobile Story”, a book that reflects the huge impact mobile communications have had in Africa's socio-economic development.

After obtaining my master's degree and gaining some working experience in Canada's telecommunications sector, in late 2014 I knew it was time to come back to Mexico to put in practice all the things I learned abroad. Nowadays, I'm working as an advisor for the Coordination of the Information and Knowledge Society, an office of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation that contributes to bridge the digital divide in Mexico by providing free Internet access to the general population in public buildings and public spaces. Involved in both technical and policy matters, I now believe I'm on the right track, one that will allow me to use my engineering skills to generate social benefits.