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Mauritius Aims To Be First Wireless Nation 333

Posted by Zonk
from the coast-to-coast dept.
hattan writes "This tropical island off the east coast of Africa is best-known for its white-sand beaches, its designer clothing outlets and its spicy curries. But tiny Mauritius is about to stake a new claim to fame. By year's end, or soon afterward, it is expected to become the world's first nation with coast-to-coast wireless Internet." From the article: "An undersea broadband fiber-optic cable, completed three years ago, gives the island fast and reliable phone and Internet links with the rest of Africa and with Europe, India and Malaysia. Many of the country's 1.2 million people--a mix of French, Indian, Chinese and African descendants--are bilingual or trilingual, speaking French, English and either Chinese or Hindi. The country is democratic, peaceful and stable."
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Mauritius Aims To Be First Wireless Nation

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  • by CyricZ (887944) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:32AM (#12860313)
    Most of the larger towns and cities in Africa are quite developed. They're very similar to towns in places like Arizona and Texas. They have running water, they have power, they have sewage systems, they have phones. While they don't have the latest in fiber optic technology, they do have decent Internet subsystems. Wireless technology will allow them to forego the expenses of laying cable, thankfully. One you adapt to the local customs, many of the cities there are very nice places to live.
  • by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:47AM (#12860393)
    The Principality of Sealand [sealandgov.com] did it first I believe, although Petoria was probably covered by their cordless phone.

  • The Land of the Dodo (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:49AM (#12860402)

    This tropical island ... is best-known for its white-sand beaches, its designer clothing outlets and its spicy curries.

    I thought Mauritius was best-known as the former home of the Dodo. Hopefully their stab at nationwide wireless connectivity won't share a similar fate.

  • by Mahou (873114) <made_up_address_&hotmail,com> on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:54AM (#12860430) Journal
    from TFA:

    The main problem, he and others say, is that the government holds a substantial share in Mauritius Telecom, the island's only fixed-line telephone operator, as well as one of its Internet providers and the company that controls the submarine fiber-optic cable that provides all of the country's phone and Internet bandwidth.

    Because the government makes so much money from the company and its cable, it has been reluctant to open the market to competitors that might reduce Telecom's profits, even though the country's National Telecommunications Policy, passed in 2004, calls for "positive discrimination" by regulators in favor of start-up companies facing off against established firms like Telecom.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @01:32AM (#12860589)

    Your research sucks.

    From Wikipedia:

    The Mauritius Dodo (Raphus cucullatus, called Didus ineptus by Linnaeus), more commonly just Dodo, was a metre-high flightless bird of the island of Mauritius. The Dodo, which is now extinct, lived on fruit and nested on the ground.

    And what's more:

    (The island was first visited by the Portuguese in 1505, but the Dutch were the first permanent settlers on the island.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @01:58AM (#12860670)
    How about a link to the map in question: Earth At Night [nasa.gov].

    And to those who question brightness as a valid measure of economic and social advancement, take a look at South vs North Korea [globalsecurity.org]. The difference is shocking.

    (More info about this type of data is available from NASA [nasa.gov], NOAA [noaa.gov]).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @02:09AM (#12860702)
    Hi, I live in Mauritius, the home of the extinct dodo.

    Country's bandwidth to the Internet: 128 Mbps

    Here is some information about Internet connectivity with the biggest ISP, Telecom Plus.
    266 US$/month - Business ADSL 1024/128
    147 US$/month - Business ADSL 512/128
    78 US$/month - Business ADSL 128/64

    40 US$/month - Residential ADSL 128/64
    60 US$/month - Residential ADSL 512/128
    266 US$/month - Residential ADSL 1024/128

    Taken from
    http://www.telecomplus.net/adsl_tariffs.htm [telecomplus.net]
    1 US$ ~Rs 28
    VAT is at 15 %

    Oh, forget about getting dedicated >1mbps connections, they cost over 2,400 US$/month last time I checked.

    Also, Mauritius claims to home the most intelligent building in the world, the Ebene Cybertower.

    See, this is a great place to live, all the peace and quiet is here but if you want to move here to enjoy cheap, fast and reliable internet connectivity, its the wrong place to be.

    Information:
    www.mauritiustelecom.com
    www.gov. mu
    alt.mauritius

    Have a nice day.
  • by panaceaa (205396) on Monday June 20, 2005 @03:24AM (#12861000) Homepage Journal
    Good idea, but should it be done in Latin, or in Perl?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @03:27AM (#12861006)
    Its not an island. Its a man made structure built aa a sea fort during world war II.
  • by AvinashM (212062) on Monday June 20, 2005 @07:26AM (#12861709) Homepage
    I am Mauritian, living and working in Mauritius right now.

    Mauritius is a small (about 1400 km2) tropical island not very far from Madagascar. Mauritius became independent in 1968, is a republic since 1991 and is, politically, stable with regular democratic elections every 5 years.

    For the last 20 years, the economy was based on sugar cane, tourism and the manufacturing sector (mostly textile). Now, with the ongoing globalisation, Mauritius has to find new avenues for development as we aren't competitive enough in those fields...

    The Government and the private sector have identified some new avenues, IT services and financial services, in addition to the further development of the existing tourism sector.

    As for IT, Government is concentrating on building new schools and giving incentives to the University of Mauritius (where I work as lecturer in Computer Science) to produce a more IT-litterate workforce (whatever that may mean). Mauritius has obtained a $100 million line of credit from India to build what is known here as CyberTowers and CyberCities.

    Of course, this migration towards a service-oriented economy will take some years. The Governement has already announced that the whole country will have to become a duty-free country (yeah :-) like Dubai and Singapore in order to attract more and more tourists.

    As everyone know, by 2008, owing to the World Trade Organisation, all countries including Mauritius will have to compete on the same level (there will be no more prefential agreements between countries nor any guaranteed quotas etc.)

    Small countries like mine need to move quickly or else we will perish.

    Wish us luck :-)

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