SV4D Initiative (Mozambique, Cap Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Portugal)

Sustainable Villages for Development (SV4D) is a project led by the Fraunhofer Portugal Research Centre for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions (AICOS), Association of Communications and Telecommunications Regulators of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (ARCTEL@CPLP).

SV4D represents a collection of specific hardware and software aimed at bridging the digital divide by providing connectivity to insufficiently networked regions, promoting the use of ICT and thereby improving the quality of life of many people through sustainable access to the Internet and communication technologies. In addition to the digital inclusion of the individual, these means of information and data exchange also constitute an important instrument for different domains such as health, education, social and environmental services, and overall economic development. As illustrated in the figure below, SV4D combines hardware and software to meet the demands of various domains and giving the necessary momentum to carry out focussed projects tailored to the needs of target communities. At this, it is important to identify the specific needs of a region to ensure the deployments are contributing to a long-term and sustainable success; as an enabler, WiBACK plays a key role but only thrives with the services of SV4D.

The SV4D initiative strives to enhance the standard of living of people in remote areas through unrestricted access to telecommunications infrastructure, connectivity and other services. In recent years, the project has established WiBACK networks in Mozambique, Cabo Verde and São Tomé in addition to its local test bed in Porto, Portugal. Next to numerous locations, government buildings, universities, schools, municipalities and central buildings were integrated into network infrastructures.

Further, they promote the creation and dissemination of research facilities concerned with R&D of ICT solutions for development. Moreover, it is envisaged to network said regions and research institutes to enable a continuous consolidation of their competencies through rapid data and information exchange, helping them to plan and conduct local feasibility studies.