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Tackling Africa’s digital divide

Innovations in ‘sustainable’ photonics technologies such as free-space optical links and solar-powered equipment provide developing countries with new cost-effective opportunities for deploying future-proof telecommunication networks.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund, the South African National Research Foundation, the South African Research Chair Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, the National Basic Research Program of China (2014CB340004), the Royal Society-Newton Advanced Fellowship, the programme for Huazhong University of Science and Technology Academic Frontier Youth Team, the National Research Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering for their support.

Author information

Correspondence to Martin P. J. Lavery or Andrew Forbes.

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Fig. 1: The digital divide.
Fig. 2: A proposed sustainable network.
Fig. 3: Comparative sustainability.