In modern times, the Internet has become an indispensable segment of people’s lives that they often take for granted, (unintentionally) forgetting how privileged they are to have access to such a commodity in the first place.
If we consider the level of digitalization that exists in developed countries today and compare it with the level of digitalization in rural areas, in both developed and developing countries around the world, we will arrive at a wide gap – almost 50% of the world’s population lacks Internet access, according to Statista.
Although devastating, the findings are far from illogical or unexpected. For major telecommunication providers to decide to build infrastructure in these regions, they have to be sure they’ll have high returns. Unfortunately, rural areas can’t promise high profitability.
Luckily, there are some startups determined to address this problem known as the Digital Divide. Ammbr, a promising blockchain-based project, aims to build a new cost-effective telecommunication model for the regions in need of Internet access.
The Ammbr Foundation Pte. Ltd. is a not-for-profit foundation that was founded in 2017 in Singapore. The foundation is in charge of creating and implementing the framework and mechanisms of the Ammbr Network, the global decentralized telecommunication network of the future.
It couples blockchain technology with crowdsourcing creating a blockchain-based wireless mesh network where users can buy and sell Internet bandwidth.
The company distributes the equipment and cloud solutions to external parties in undeserved countries and rural regions around the world. To become part of Ammbr’s shared economy model, these external operators acquire mesh server devices to share connectivity and make some profit by setting your own selling rate.
Right now, the company oversees the network development but the plan is for the network to be decentralized and to belong to the infrastructure owners. These operators will all be considered as separate digital entities authorized to impose their own rules and pricing.
The Vision Behind Ammbr
The world as we know it today uses the Internet as the main communication media to share information across the globe at the wink of an eye.
The Internet allows people to stay in touch with friends and relatives abroad. It gives students and researchers access to scholarly articles, e-books, and free courses. Businesses use the Internet as a marketing platform and a pool of information to discover customers’ needs.
The omnipresence of the Internet felt by citizens of developed countries makes it harder for them to accept the existence of a severe digital disparity reelected in the fact that half of the world’s population lacks an Internet connection.
Instead of turning a blind eye to this issue, the team behind Ammbr has found an auspicious solution in building an autonomous network where Internet owners purchase special Ammbr router hardware to register and sell their Internet bandwidth.
Buyers use these nearby Ammbr Network connections to purchase Internet using the network’s native cryptocurrency AMR. This token supports and processes near-instant micropayments and provides these individuals with Internet access.
The main objective of Ammbr’s endeavor is to enlarge the Internet’s distribution without having to rely on legacy Internet or telecommunication providers. In the official Ammbr whitepaper, the founders share data showing a direct correlation between Internet access and socio-economic problems (e.g. poverty).
Therefore, their mission is to “make the Internet true to its nickname, the ‘World Wide Web’” (Ammbr white paper, p.8).
How Does Ammbr Work?
The Ammbr network exists on the blockchain where users operate the nodes that keep the network running. Ammbr fosters transaction transparency, making sure it remains fully compliant with local laws in order to be accepted and implemented anywhere in the world.
Two components are crucial for the network to function properly:
- Decentralized Autonomous Organisation.
Ammbr uses DAO as a governance technology that makes sure users respect the network rules which are encoded as computer code and enforced with the use of smart contracts. This is the best way for Ammbr to stay transparent and unbiased.
Things that require DAO governance also include the payment of tariffs and taxes by different types of users. Smart contracts have pre-determined billing terms that take into account the bytes transferred by the user and the guaranteed bandwidth.
Plasma is a scalability solution that allows blockchains to store some of their data, i.e. move some of the transactions from the root chain to newly created side chains. The plan is to have one main blockchain or global ledger, then parent chains for the regional networks, and child chains for the router nodes.
The AMR Token
AMR is the network’s official proprietary crypto token and the only payment method accepted by Ammbr for the automated buying and selling of Internet bandwidth.
The AMR Crowdsale took place between January 8 and March 8, 2019, on the Singularity exchange. The sale was successful as 80% of the available 400,000,000 AMR tokens were purchased. The price for each token was $0.025, and people were allowed to buy them with BTC, ETH, XMR, or STEEM.
Quickly after the crowd sale, AMR was listed on two exchanges: p2pb2b and Stex and can now be bought or exchanged for Bitcoin, Ethereum, or USD.
So, what can we expect from Ammbr in the future?
For 2019, the company planned to make its first deployments into US Military, USDA, and other state departments. Next, Ammbr was to deploy wide bandwidth data transmission in South and Southeast Asia, touristic sites around Zimbabwe, and at the University campus in Malawi.
Phase two takes place in 2020 and focuses on building proper infrastructure for both automated telecommunication and cellular solutions.
In 2021, Ammbr considers expanding the use cases of its network into the financial sector. This includes peer-to-peer payments and lending, remittances that would incur just a fraction of the existing transaction fees, and offline payment solutions.
The Ammbr team expects to have built a strong global telecom and financial network by 2022.