Different campuses of the University of the Philippines collaborate for technology and research.
According to a recent report, the low-cost community cellular networks project by both Universities enables basic calls and text at a fraction of the cost as compared to the traditional commercial cellular networks.
The initiative, called “Village Base Station-Connecting Communities through Mobile Networks” or VBTS-CoCoMoNets establishes community cellular networks (CCNs) in rural sites in the Philippines.
CCNs are low-power and low-cost 2G base stations that enable users to make basic calls and text in areas, which traditional commercial cellular networks cannot reach.
The project has bested 236 other entries from 28 countries across Asia to grab the ISIF Asia Awards 2018.
It is a program that supports creative internet solutions to development needs in the Asia Pacific in an effort to promote positive social and economic development.
This project is timely as it addresses the lack of mobile phone access in the rural sites of the Philippines with the establishment of the CCN.
To date, several remote barangays in the Aurora province are benefiting from the VBTS-CoCoMoNets.
They are barangay Dikapinisan, sitio Diotorin in barangay Dibayabay, barangay Dibut, and sitio Limbok Sabang in barangay Umiray.
These sites, which are nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains facing the Pacific Ocean, are home to some members of the indigenous peoples of the province.
Two more CCNs are expected to be established by the end of the year.
The entire team will be receiving a cash prize amounting to US$ 3,500 or PHP 185,000.
Aside from the cash prize, the winners also won a travel grant to the 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France on 12 to 14 November 2018.
The aim of the visit is to hold partnership and rapid benchmarking meetings on joint graduate programs and collaborative research.
The group first visited the University of Reading where they signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to implement the Dual PhD by Research Program.
The program, proposed by the Graduate School, is the first of its kind in the country.
They also discussed plans to expand the UPLB-University of Reading partnership.
The approval of the program set the requirements that need to be satisfied in the offering of a Dual PhD by Research program with a reputable HEI in the Philippines and abroad.
The visit to the University of Reading was also highlighted by the turnover-induction of four faculty members and researchers from the University who are the pioneer batch to take the Dual PhD by Research.
The Dual PhD by Research with the University of Reading is implemented under the auspices of the British Council-Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Transnational Education-Joint Development of Niche Programmes.
The program is funded by the British government and CHEd.