Every time Thulisile Volwana visited her rural home in South Africa, she realized that connecting to the internet was difficult due to the lack of reliable communication infrastructure.
She decided, in consultation with her colleague, Sabelo Sibanda, to come up with a solution to reverse the trend.
This gave birth to Tuse App, an android application that does not require traditional wireless infrastructure, making it suitable in areas that have little or no network coverage.
The app, introduced in July 2015, makes use of the Wi-Fi component on a smartphone device and allows people to send text messages, make phone calls and transfer data on the network created.
“Tuse has the ability to have ‘multi hop’ communication. Fully encrypted information and calls are transferred between the sender and recipient by ‘hopping’ from device to device,” Sabelo Sibanda, co-founder of Tuse said.
Essentially, Tuse makes communications technologies available in places with little to no signal through the deployment of wireless mesh networks.
A wireless mesh network is a communications network created through the connection of wireless access points at or near a user’s locale.
The app was in October 2015, selected to take part in the renowned Founders Space accelerator programme in San Francisco, making it the first African company at the time to be given that opportunity.
Founders Space is dedicated to helping exceptional entrepreneurs grow their startups, acquire more funding and go global.
Apart from helping people to stay connected, the app also enables teachers and students, especially those in higher learning institutions, to get access to a wide range of learning materials and to have a basic internet connection.