Their objective, they point out, is to offer low-cost telephone and internet service in the communities of Oaxaca, and to achieve connectivity in isolated areas.
A group of young people from Oaxaca founded a free cell phone company that will compete in the market at a much lower cost, which will help reduce the digital divide in the state.
ATOM CONECTA, a company that belongs to the ATOM INOVATEC company, which was created in December 2014, is directed by Jorge Ramos, which technological products are solar panels and cell phone chargers, among others, with the conjunction of craftsmen, engineers, and designers.
The founder of the project is Mario Salgado Ramos, who is accompanied by four other five young people from Oaxaca.
The director of ATOM CONECTA, Karina Castellanos assures that this company is the only one of its kind on the continent, as it promotes digital inclusion and the adoption of information technologies in urban and rural areas; Also, it does not require contracts and uses a shared network that allows them to have coverage in Oaxaca and outside the state.
“We are the only company committed to the development of our state, for each purchase, a percentage will be allocated to donate antennas to vulnerable communities, reducing the digital and social gap in Mexico,” she says. Oaxaca is the second entity with the lowest number of Internet users and the third with the lowest number of telephone users.
This gap, she says, is most prevalent in rural areas where 45% of the population has access to the internet, according to the National Survey on the Availability and Use of Household Information Technologies (ENDUTIH).
She points out that this is due to low purchasing power since in communities it is very expensive to hire satellite internet.
As a result of Covid-19, this digital divide represented the violation of an elementary right for social development, such as education, due to the limitations to access information.
Connectivity, Castellanos points out, not only influences to remain outside the source of knowledge, but also in the expansion of economic, social, political, and cultural freedoms; consequently, a great number of regions have difficulties to be connected.
This project seeks to fight this isolation that maintains a lagging situation. This will be achieved through a system in which for each chip that is acquired from this cellular company, the company will provide a free telephone infrastructure and internet access to a community in a state of digital poverty.
“We have a satellite network, so practically where you can see the sky we arrive and without any problem. For each chip that is sold, a part is destined to buy these antennas, take them to these communities to install them free of charge and with the equipment at no cost, and thus be able to help them in this pandemic, because the children need a network that will not arrive because apart it is very expensive ”.
The advantage of his cell phone company, Castellanos reiterates, is that no contracts or monthly payments are needed; Besides, the chip is free and you can recharge from anywhere.
Also, she assures, the cost is lower and with more benefits than the large cell phone companies, because with a recharge of 200 pesos you can have internet and unlimited calls for a month, so the cell phone can function as a modem to connect to other devices to have internet service.
Currently, the speed of the internet ranges between 20 and 25 gigabytes, while the ones offered by the large companies in “real terms” reaches 10 gigabytes. Karina Castellanos points out that they do not have connectivity problems either, since they have the rights to use the same antennas that these companies use.