Mauritius : Sun, Sea, Sand and WiMax

My native country, Mauritius, does not often come into the limelight in the IT world, except perhaps when it come to outsourcing and, the more obscure developments on technology’s periphery.

The once famous Simputer is just one example but it sank into oblivion as quickly as it appeared.

I was therefore quite surprised that Navini Networks, via a local representative, Network Plus, is launching what appears to be the World's first WiMax coverage of a whole country.

Speeds of up to 512kbps are available but the company is also offering £9.99+VAT for an unlimited 64kbit wireless line, which is quite cheap by African standards, although a much slower connection.

This will also prove to be a grand-scale test for WiMax's technology. The launch of WiMax, which will drive the Internet into the hands of thousands, is eagerly awaited not only in Mauritius but also by the entire developing world.

The ability to get wireless Internet running in remote, arid and mountainous areas where cabling does not make sense is paramount to make the poorest continent a better place to work.

I presume that this move is anxiously watched by the local equivalent of BT, Mauritius Telecom, in which France Telecom has a fair share of stocks. If the Network Plus launch is met with success, then its repercussions will have an even farther reach than the Tsunami.