Why We Support World Mobile
At Defiants, we’re always looking for the best in innovative Web3, DeFi and social impact projects. One of the latest projects we’re offering community support to is World Mobile, the first decentralized mobile network built on blockchain technology and run by the people, for the people.
We wanted to write this article to give you a fundamental breakdown of the project including who’s behind it, how it works, their plans for the future, and everything else you might want to know about World Mobile. We hope that by the time you finish reading this, you’ll be as excited as we are about this one-of-a-kind mobile network!
A Mission Worth Executing
Did you know that more than half of the world’s population is still not connected to mobile networks? Almost 4 billion people remain unconnected from the Internet and the digital society that the rest of us take part in, leaving them without access to potentially life changing economic opportunities.
World Mobile was founded with the goal to connect everyone, everywhere. As they put it, the company wants to go the extra mile that traditional telecommunications won’t (because it isn’t profitable) to connect people in remote areas.
World Mobile’s data network is built on blockchain technology and based on the sharing economy. It aims to increase the quality of service for the average user and create value for the customer, rather than extract it from them.
Local business owners in rural areas will be able to operate affordable nodes on the World Mobile network to connect members of their community to the Internet while earning World Mobile Tokens (WMT) as the network grows.
The World Mobile Token: Initial Supply and Uses
World Mobile Tokens are the network’s native crypto tokens, which primarily exist to allow stakeholders and node operators to share in the rewards of transactions on the growing network. Holders of the token can stake WMT to World Mobile network nodes called Earth Nodes, earning a percentage of the node’s transaction fees in return.
There will be a maximum supply of 2,000,000,000 World Mobile Tokens, released into circulation over a period of 20 years. 29% of these are reserved for node operators and stakeholders. The company will initially release 200 million tokens into circulation, representing 10% of the 20-year total supply.
WMT launched on the Cardano blockchain in July 2021 and World Mobile raised $40 million in less than five weeks during the initial public token offering. This was in addition to $5 million raised in private token sales.
These funds will go towards the initial rollout of the World Mobile network infrastructure in Africa, as well as software development and the formation of important partnerships (such as their principal partnership with Fulham FC).
Air Nodes: The Infrastructure to Connect Everyone
The World Mobile network is made up of three tiers: a mesh network on the ground, a low altitude platform (300–500 meters high) tethered to an aerostat, and a stratospheric layer (under development for future roll outs).
Remote communities will be able to access the World Mobile network via Air Nodes, which can be as simple as a pole with a solar panel and wireless access point. These nodes will use low-traffic frequencies, such as unused TV channels and free-space optics, to provide affordable calling and data packages to community members.
Anyone can purchase Air Node infrastructure from World Mobile to operate and provide network access for their local community. In return, they will be rewarded with transaction and inflation fees in the form of World Mobile Tokens or, where crypto is not yet regulated and viable, in their local fiat currency.
Proven Feasibility of the World Mobile Network in Rural Tanzania
In 2019, World Mobile tested their proprietary Air Node connectivity model in a remote fishing village in Tanzania. The company set up a solar-powered wireless Air Node in a village of approximately 200 people to provide them with Internet access for the first time.
The local Air Node operator used existing fiber optics to reach a point 65 km away from the village, where the Air Node then connects to other Air Nodes via unlicensed spectrum, creating a mesh network to deliver data to the remote village.
The results of this proof of concept and feasibility study were exciting to say the least! Previously, the fishermen inhabiting this village had limited access to customers to sell fresh fish and were often forced to dry large portions of their catch, reducing the value of the fish significantly.
After receiving Internet access, the fishermen were able to make new business contacts and sell fresh fish and prawns to customers further away, including to hotels in Zanzibar and neighboring towns. They even began exporting live crab to customers in Europe.
Besides the increased business opportunities provided by World Mobile’s Air Nodes, locals were also able to watch the news, access education, and make low-cost calls to friends and family both locally and around the globe.
This self-funded feasibility test, along with other tests conducted in schools in Zanzibar, gave World Mobile the data it needed to justify and prepare for a commercial rollout beginning in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The company expects to have at least 100,000 users in the region by early 2022.
Fixed, Affordable Mobility Costs for Locals
Customers will purchase prepaid recharge vouchers to receive services including data, voice minutes, and other value added services from the World Mobile network. They will not be required to purchase WMT to pay for such services, but will be able to do so where crypto is permitted.
Where crypto is not yet feasible, World Mobile network users will be able to pay for data packages in their local currency, and will receive roughly twice as much data compared to packages offered by traditional local data providers.
The cost of services is a fixed cost in the country’s local currency as set by a regulator, and the cost will never change, no matter what the current price of WMT is. However, customers will also have an option to purchase and hold WMT for discounts and rewards. For example, holding WMT may reduce the cost of calling or data packages below the fixed cost in local fiat currency.
Every service purchased through the World Mobile network will generate a transaction fee, which goes directly to the node operators. These transactions will also partly drive the market price of WMT, providing potential benefits for stakeholders.
Solutions for Cheaper Mobile Data
The problem with legacy mobile network infrastructure is that they incur unnecessary costs due to their dated designs. World Mobile is working with existing mesh networks, but is also developing its own core backhaul infrastructure to deliver inland connectivity via sea cables and fibre optics providers.
World Mobile’s initial build in Zanzibar is a commercial demonstration of a hybrid network that drastically lowers the cost of data delivery and is much more far-reaching than networks based on legacy infrastructure.
Partnerships and a Long-Term Commitment to Africa
In November 2021, World Mobile announced a partnership with Input Output Global (IOG) and the eGovernment Agency Zanzibar (eGAZ) to create long-term blockchain solutions in Zanzibar and position the region as a new global blockchain technology hub.
World Mobile will do this in four phases: education, eGov solution, Blue Economy, and model build out.
In the education phase, World Mobile will launch a blockchain academy in Zanzibar with the goal of keeping and bringing talent to the region. The academy will start hosting blockchain conferences to attract global experts starting sometime in Spring 2022.
In the second phase, World Mobile and IOG will create an eGov solution by implementing blockchain technology in regional registry systems to create digital IDs with trackability and traceability. This back-end government integration will help facilitate business process automation, fight corruption, and reduce software costs.
The Blue Economy phase will aim to formalize the local fishing economy, which accounts for 29% of Zanzibar’s GDP and employs 33% of its workforce. The goal of this is to increase tax revenue collection, increase tax and audit visibility, and improve supply chain management.
One way World Mobile plans to do this is by providing network connectivity out at sea via network-equipped balloons, which will allow maritime vessels to better combat illegal fishing activities in the waters off the coasts of Tanzania and Zanzibar. World Mobile hopes to complete tests for this phase by the end of 2021.
In the fourth phase, World Mobile and IOG will replicate the Blue Economy model in other sectors of the local economy, such as agriculture, tourism, and telecommunications.
Other initiatives and plans for the future
Besides their commitment to the Blue Economy and fight against illegal fishing in Zanzibar, World Mobile is also working to provide more connectivity for schools and students. Together with the Ministry of Education and private businesses, they have identified about 100 sites to lay down new mesh networks in the region. Additionally, IOG and World Mobile have jointly agreed to fund 300 laptops for the Forodhani School in Zanzibar.
World Mobile has plans to roll out their network into Kenya next, to support digital transformation and decentralize mobile connectivity there.
The sharing economy will keep World Mobile’s expansion rolling until everyone around the world has the same opportunities to access digital tools and services, no matter how remote their location.
A World-Class Team
World Mobile’s Founder and CEO Mickey “Mr. Telecom” Watkins has over a decade of experience in global telecommunications and angel investment. He’s the driving force behind World Mobile’s mission to create an innovative and high-impact mobile network with a tangible socio-economic effect.
World Mobile’s executive team has combined expertise in blockchain, telecommunications, mobile, and renewable energy, with demonstrated experience working in Africa. The C-suite team is backed by a core team of advisors and directors, many of whom are located in, or have experience working with, Africa.
This combination of world-class talent truly sets World Mobile apart as a leader in the blockchain-based mobile network sector, and we look forward to seeing the project progress!
The Bottom Line
World Mobile is exactly the type of project we like to support. They are providing unprecedented mobile and data network connectivity in places where it has traditionally been limited or nonexistent; we feel this use of blockchain technology has the potential to change the world.
World Mobile has a very thorough go-to-market strategy and, in our opinion, a high chance to succeed in their niche regions. They have already proven the feasibility of their network in Zanzibar and Tanzania, and will continue to expand in the area, starting in neighboring Kenya.
In a recent AMA, Watkins mentioned plans to expand beyond Africa, into developing countries in South America and even into developed countries around the world including Spain, Australia, and New Zealand, where there are still rural areas without reliable digital access.
All this is to say that World Mobile is definitely a project you should be following for years to come. World Mobile has the potential to be one of the biggest sharing economies and mobile network operators on the planet, and we are very pleased to be offering them our support.
Defiants is a non-profit community accelerator and aggregator. Our team of experienced community managers has a large portfolio of unique skills that empower blockchain startups to live up to their full potential. We build reputations that align with the vision of the project, and resilient communities that will watch that vision come to life. Learn more at defiants.org.