Our impact with Airtel: 6 months on

Last year, we announced a partnership with Airtel to bring mobile power services to 10 of their exclusive outlets across rural Uttar Pradesh.

6 months later and we’ve charged over 10,000 phones, helped fight fake news, boosted business for local store owners and helped thousands of people stay connected during frequent and unpredictable power cuts.

We recently travelled out to some of these villages to speak to the people who depend on BuffaloGrid every day to stay connected. Watch the video above to hear their story.

Solar powered charging is just the start of what BuffaloGrid’s technology is capable of. If you’re a company interested in accelerating global internet adoption, we’d love to hear from you.

We’re helping WhatsApp tackle fake news in rural India

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Read more about our work with WhatsApp over at The Drum and VentureBeat.

Here at BuffaloGrid, we believe life is better with the internet. But it’s clear fake news is a real problem. Across every continent, rumours spread across social media and the internet like wildfire. In the worst case scenarios, misinformation can have deadly real-world implications.

As a company on a mission to bring mobile power and internet to the next billion, we believe we have a responsibility to help people getting online for the first time understand these risks.

That’s why today we’re pleased to announce we’re working with WhatsApp to help bring their ‘Spread Joy, Not Rumours’ campaign to villages across Northern India through our network of solar-powered community-level mobile phone charging Hubs.

If you charge your phone on our solar-powered BuffaloGrid Hubs today, you’ll be shown a message from WhatsApp on the simple steps to protect you and your loved ones from falling foul of fake news.

Bloomberg recently reported under 50% of all homes are electrified in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. BuffaloGrid Hubs are quickly becoming a simple and reliable solution to the biggest problem preventing people from getting online; finding somewhere to charge their phone.

We worked with Bosco Zubiaga at WhatsApp on this initiative who had this to say:

“We’re humbled by the impact that WhatsApp had on people’s ability to freely connect with their loved ones. We recognise at the same time connecting people can also lead to the spread of misinformation, which has to be confronted. We hope this campaign will help educate people how to stay safe on WhatsApp.”

“We’re grateful for the support from BuffaloGrid in bringing this campaign to villages across Northern India. Power is fundamental to getting online and without companies like this, the internet adoption rate in many places of the world would be much slower and difficult to support.”

Now live with Airtel in Northern India

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For the 225 million people living In India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, access to reliable and affordable electricity is still a big problem.

Less than 50% of homes in the state are electrified according to Bloomberg, and for many more people access to power is still unreliable.

It’s why we’re thrilled to be working with Airtel to help change this. Together we’ve launched a network of BuffaloGrid Hubs, bringing mobile phone charging to thousands of people across rural India.

Now live in select Airtel stores in villages in the west of Uttar Pradesh, visitors are able to charge their phones for free on our solar-powered mobile phone charging stations.

Providing free mobile charging in Airtel’s stores doesn’t just have a social impact, it also adds value to the experience of visitors to these locations. By offering something that customers want, Airtel is encouraging people to spend more time with their brand.

It’s a win-win situation, we’re bringing mobile phone power to thousands without access while our customers improve the experience of their rural retail locations. We’re looking forward to talking more about the success of this pilot as we continue on our mission to bring power and internet to the next billion.

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