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Philippines Deploys Community LTE Networks in Rural Areas

The Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), has establishing its second LokaLTE Base Station in Looc Integrated School, Castillejos, Zambales. Project REIINN, or Resilient Education Information Infrastructure for the New Normal, is a project that focuses on the creation of application frameworks and infrastructures to enable the shift to remote learning and close the digital gap in the Philippines.

“In a nutshell, the LokaLTE component focuses on the local development and deployment of community LTE networks in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the RuralCasting component exploits the use of data broadcasting mechanisms in distributing educational resource materials in remote communities,” said Franz de Leon, Director, DOST-ASTI.

The LokaLTE Base Tower is one of the Philippines’ national government’s efforts to bridge the country’s digital divide. This tower will provide Internet connectivity and will aid in the continuity of learning in the Zambales community.

Project REIINN is funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) and includes two initiatives: LokaLTE and RuralCasting.

The initiative is just the start of the project’s long-term goals, which include connecting everyone and making it easier for policies on spectrum management and community networks to be adopted.

It is anticipated that Project REIINN will reduce teachers’ difficulties, particularly in terms of communication between students and their parents – it can explore other avenues for the advancement of children.

In addition, the first LokaLTE Base Station was erected in Tanay, Rizal in May 2022. DOST-ASTI began Project REIINN in 2021 with the belief that access to the internet and information in unserved and underserved areas will become the norm because of technological interventions and appropriate policies.

The creation and deployment of small-scale, community-operated LokaLTE towers is one of the project’s objectives. This initiative is anticipated to have more groundbreakings in unserved and underserved regions in the Philippines until all students, regardless of location, have equal access to digital learning and reap the same benefits.

DOST-ASTI Strengthens the SARwAIS Project

Researchers from DOST-DATOS ASTI’s and Synthetic Aperture Radar and Automatic Identification System for Innovative Terrestrial Monitoring and Maritime Surveillance (SARwAIS) Project conducted an Introduction to Radar Remote Sensing training series in order to broaden the use of Remote Sensing in processing earth observation data and automating the detection of features from SAR satellite images.

The training was designed to further grow what DOST-ASTI has started in the race for space technology, and it was planned to do so with the normal backing from the Philippine Space Agency. In addition, the training was intended to acquaint the partner agencies, and the security sector, with the utilisation of SAR data to supplement their mission and efforts, particularly in marine domain awareness and resource monitoring.

Participants were informed, with a particular emphasis on the utilisation of SAR data, of the ways in which the available satellite resources (NovaSAR, Sentinel-1, and ICEYE) could potentially assist in the monitoring and asset deployment initiatives that they are engaged in. The programme lasted for four days and was filled to the brim with lectures and hands-on exercises that further armed them with abilities in remote sensing and GIS, which in turn enhanced their awareness of geospatial concepts.

Representatives from each agency presented their results at the conclusion of the training course, debating at length how to utilise this information in their individual offices. Participants also toured the DOST-ASTI facilities to examine infrastructures such as the ground receiving station and data centre.

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