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Posts Tagged ‘telecommunications’

Venezuelans can now buy cell phones for the equivalent of just US $13.95, thanks to a new state-run company that put its first 5,000 units on the market yesterday in Caracas.

Eager shoppers snapped up the first bunch, and the AP reports that another 5,000 will be in stores soon.

The tiny phone, dubbed “El Vergatario,” is equipped with a camera, radio, and mp3 player.

The firm that makes them, a joint venture by the governments of Venezuela and China, is known as Vetelca. This is not an isolated effort, but rather, part of a broader plan to promote affordable technology (you may recall the “Bolivarian Computer,” and the adoption of open-source Linux operating systems).

“El Vergatario” is only sold on the domestic market right now, but depending on its success, it could eventually become an export. And because it is literally the cheapest cell phone in the world, it is likely to be quite competitive.

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copia-de-mision-sucre-1UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics says that Venezuela has the second-highest rate of university enrollment in Latin America. At 83% enrollment, Venezuela is second only to Cuba, and far above the regional average of just 30%, Radio Nacional de Venezuela reports.

To keep up the momentum, Venezuela is opening several new institutions of higher education this year.

Last Tuesday, President Chavez announced that the following five new public universities would soon open their doors: The University of Hydrocarbons, National University of Security Studies, University of the Peoples of the South, School of Telecommunications and Computer Science, and University Institute of Civil Aviation.

Venezuela’s National Council of Universities has also approved 22 new majors in everything ranging from tourism to nursing to petroleum and sugar engineering.

Much of the progress made on education in Venezuela can be attributed to the country’s social missions, which have helped change the lives of millions of citizens. “Mission Alma Mater” builds new universities and learning spaces to meet the needs of the increasing number of students seeking higher education. “Mission Sucre” has greatly expanded the country’s higher education system, with the goal of granting universal access to public universities.

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It’s official! Venezuela’s social revolution takes to the skies today with the launch of the satellite dubbed “Simon Bolivar” in remembrance of the independence leader.

The BBC reported that this telecommunications tool will cover all of Latin America and be used, ideally by many countries, “to enhance regional integration and also for social programmes such as tele-education and tele-medicine.” Click on the BBC link to watch an informative video.

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