Africa Business Communities

[Interview] Kyle Moss, Government Affairs Program Manager, Qualcomm Wireless Reach

Kyle Moss serves as a government affairs program manager and head of global entrepreneurship for Qualcomm Wireless Reach. Based in San Diego, Moss designs, implements, and manages social impact programs throughout Africa, Asia, and the US.

Africa Business Communities interviews with her:

Would you introduce Qualcomm Wireless Reach?

Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ is a strategic initiative that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. For the last ten years, Wireless Reach has invested in programs that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability, impacting over 11 million people.

I think it is fair to say that Africa is – or at least is to become – The Wireless Continent. What will 5G bring to Africa?

5G will have an important role to play in the Internet of Things (IoT) space as well as enabling higher data speeds in densely populated areas (commercial, malls, public spaces), where capacity will be key. However, for 5G to have a significant impact in Africa, it will be essential that 4G reach a higher degree of maturity in terms of coverage and capacity since many of the use cases will rely on a 4G fall back for 5G. The challenge in 4G will be to accelerate access to coverage and capacity bands which will enable the existing multi-network operators (MNOs) to satisfy the growing demand for data and coverage.   

What has been the impact of Qualcomm Wireless Reach on Africa so far?

Over the past 10 years, Wireless Reach has supported 12 programs across Africa working with over 50 different organizations. This is critical as we believe that this collaboration is key to sustainable outcomes, and our work on the continent has benefitted over 630,000 people to date.  Wireless Reach has a particularly robust health care and entrepreneurship portfolio in Africa. Through these programs, we deploy transformative technologies that help governments reach their ICT goals and improve social and economic outcomes for their communities.

Our health programs address a range of priority issues, from strengthening the HIV/AIDS antiretroviral supply chain to working to reduce the risk of maternal and infant mortality. Our Mobile Ultrasound Patrol program has improved maternal health by deploying wireless ultrasound solutions to remote regions of Morocco, significantly reducing the cost of a medical diagnosis from $80 to $2 per patient and shortening the diagnostic review period from 2 weeks to less than 24 hours. In Nigeria, the CliniPAK360 program has enabled frontline health workers from over 150 health centers across the country to improve the diagnosis of clinical conditions and ensure that women receive the care they need for healthy pregnancies and childbirth. This project has reached nearly 200,000 patients to date and its success has prompted government supported scale-up across several states. Our Power of mLearning program has ensured that hundreds of students in Kenya now have access to improved educational resources via 3G-enabled wireless tablets, resulting in an increase in mean test scores on the standard exams for Kenyan primary schools. And, the Wireless Access for Fishery entrepreneurship program in Senegal has created a specialized suite of applications that, when combined with improved access to financial services from local micro-lending institutions, has led to an increase in the annual incomes of some artisanal fishermen by over US $500.

What opportunities do you see for African businesses and organizations for sustainable growth, using Qualcomm technology?

African businesses and organizations are already enjoying Qualcomm based technologies through existing access to 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi. Africa has historically relied on mobile as a means of connectivity in this large geographic region given lack of access to fixed alternatives. Looking to the future as we see 4G mature and migrate to 4G Advanced, we will start to experience Gbit speeds (fiber in the air) which will in turn provide for an improved experience and quality of service to all of those Africa businesses.    

What can you tell us about the Qualcomm Wireless Reach partnerships in Africa?

Wireless Reach works with stakeholders to create programs that enable devices that have limited or no connectivity. Wireless Reach collaborates with non-governmental organizations, universities, government institutions, nonprofits, development agencies and other private sector companies.

Does Qualcomm Wireless Reach have capacity for new African partnerships?

Wireless Reach is always looking to work with exciting new partners on programs that align closely with and support national policies and priorities, meet a community need, and demonstrate how Qualcomm technology can improve people’s lives. The key to achieving these aims – and growing and sustaining our programs – is strategic collaborations with other entities in the mobile ecosystem, local government bodies and/or affiliated agencies, and organizations with a strong local presence.

When interested, what should African parties wanting to work with Qualcomm Wireless Reach do?

Wireless Reach has historically accepted proposals on an annual basis through an online proposal process. Please visit for more information and be sure to request that you are added to the distribution list so that you receive an email when the process begins, typically in April of each year.

On 13 September there is a webinar: How wireless technology is transforming Africa, powered by Qualcomm Wireless Reach. What is the objective of this webinar?

The goal of Wireless Reach is to create sustainable programs that strengthen economic and social development with a focus on education, entrepreneurship, health care, the environment and public safety. This webinar will provide an opportunity to share stories and data from our programs in Africa and to demonstrate how mobile technology can have a positive social and economic impact.

What is the latest Qualcomm Wireless Reach news?

This year Qualcomm Wireless Reach celebrated an important milestone: 10 years of utilizing transformative technologies to positively impact over 11 million people from underserved communities across the globe. As we prepare to move into the next year, we are getting excited to share news from our new programs, including a new public safety program in South Africa. Visit our Website, and follow along on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram to stay up-to-date on program announcements and the important work we’re doing at Qualcomm Wireless Reach.

Click here to register for this free webinar on Wednesday 13 September 2017


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