India plays key role in Intel's 'World Ahead' program
May 30, 2006
New accessibility, connectivity and education efforts to boost digital inclusion
Paul Otellini, in his first visit to India as president and chief executive officer of Intel Corporation, described the pivotal role India plays in Intel's World Ahead Program, which seeks to accelerate access to uncompromised technology and education for people in the world's developing communities. While unveiling new technologies and digital inclusion projects, Otellini said Intel's World Ahead Program elements were key parts of the company's broader investments in India, where US$1 billion is aimed at growing the company's research and development, venture capital activities, and education and community programs in the country during the next five years.
"India will play a key role in designing and developing computing technologies used worldwide under Intel's World Ahead Program," Otellini said. "In India, the program unifies Intel's local efforts to enhance the lives of the vast majority of India's population who would benefit from information technology and education, but have not found it within their reach.
"With only 2 percent of India's population having a PC or Internet connection, the challenge is large," he added. "By multiplying the effects of computers, the Internet and education we can greatly accelerate the reach of technology's benefits across India in the next five years."
Otellini announced several new steps to further these efforts in India, driving technology accessibility, Internet connectivity and effective education. These new steps include:
Intel is bringing its Discover the PC initiative to India, working with HCL, Millennium, PCS, Wipro and Zenith Computers to make available a low-cost, fully-featured, high quality and small form factor desktop PC, with an easy-to-use interface designed to introduce a new set of people to the world of technology for the first time. The PCs will be available in 60 days and will be priced 20 percent less than the lowest priced Intel-based PCs in India with similar feature-rich configurations.
Intel and Microsoft will collaborate to engineer and deliver flexible, pay-as-you-go PC purchasing models in emerging markets. The global collaboration between Microsoft and Intel to implement Microsoft FlexGo technology is another example of the successful joint activities the two companies have taken on in emerging markets. The pay-as-you-go model enabled by FlexGo makes PCs more accessible by reducing the initial cost and enabling customers to pay for computers through subscriptions or as they use them, through the purchase of prepaid activation cards or tokens. Intel will provide support for the FlexGo capability initially on Intel's Discover the PC platforms tailored for people in developing regions, such as the recently introduced Intel-powered Community PC in India.
Intel will also collaborate with ICICI Bank to facilitate loans for PC ownership through the emerging subscription payment model, ensuring long-term viability for computer financing methods.
Intel will work closely with Tata VSNL to bring Intel-based PC solutions and WiMAX wireless broadband connectivity to Tata's RailTel cyber cafes across India. This will help extend computing accessibility and Internet connectivity to the 13 million people who pass through the railway stations each day.
Small, affordable and rugged learning devices for students based on Intel's platform - formerly code-named Eduwise - will be available in India next year. The Intel-powered PC is specifically designed to provide collaborative learning environments for teachers and students in developing countries. The student learning device's hardware and software was developed at the platform definition center in Bangalore.
"Intel's World Ahead Program aims to speed our progress in making technology available to the next billion people, and a big part of this effort is focused within India, for India," said Otellini. "By working with India's business and government leaders, and developing technology locally, we want to create a sustainable environment that offers the right tools to meet the needs of local communities."
With the World Ahead Program, Intel has committed to invest more than $1 billion globally over the next five years to speed access to uncompromised technology and education for people in the world's developing communities. India is one of the key countries to be covered by this program.
The program integrates Intel's efforts to enhance lives by driving progress in three areas:
Accessibility: Creating opportunities for widespread ownership and shared access of PCs through affordability, access and content, including the development of fully featured, affordable PCs tailored to regional needs.
Connectivity: Expanding wireless broadband Internet access by cultivating the required ecosystems and encouraging deployment, including the broad promotion of WiMAX trials and deployments.
Education: Preparing students for success in the global economy through education programs and resources, including professional development for teachers worldwide.