Disclaimer :. I am not a telecommunications professional, nor a blockchain expert, nor a financial advisor. I bought a (too) small bag of WMT during public sale back in July. Do your own research. This is just my take on what I understood from the project. Do not try to buy WMT from anyone, it is not yet listed on exchanges
TLDR : Rural villages in Africa suffer from a lack of access to education, and education is the key to many of world’s problems. World Mobile is building a decentralized mobile network, in which community builds antennas to bring coverage, and are rewarded with tokens (World Mobile Token, WMT) paid to use the network. They are for now focusing on building a test-network in remote areas in Zanzibar, part of their “Connect the Unconnected” program, and are planning on a full-scale launch in Tanzania Q3-4 2022. It is not available on exchanges yet, but is apparently planned for this month. They have collaborations with IOHK and have met Binance CEO. The team is amazing, their social media is extremely knowledgeable and professional.
Link to the presentation video
1 – Project and technology
Abstract of their Whitepaper :
A shared economy model to deliver network infrastructure would enable improvements in efficiencies of network design and operation, as well as provide a more fluid delivery of connectivity to users of a network.
The use of blockchain in this model enables the removal of intermediaries and a layer of cost from the delivery mechanism. It also enables the rapid expansion of the network thanks to the transparency provided by smart contracts, which allow the participants to have a provable and guaranteed rewards system. We propose a solution to the global problem that nearly half of the world is still not connected, as highlighted by the United Nations.
This solution aims to address the affordability issue, as well as the more efficient use of network resources, to enable connectivity to be provided in a more distributed and decentralised manner.
The technology is based on 3 types of nodes, meshing the whole network
Screenshot from their Deck
2 – Team
I let you read about the whole team on their website, they seem to all be extremely experienced in their own field. Here are a few of the top management to have a first idea.
Micky Watkins (CEO) : Founder of Yallo Telecoms, raised millions from different huge VCs and Deutsche Telekom
Alan Omnet (COO) : Telecom entrepreneur, has developed and managed telecom services for companies such as American Express, Hertz, and Virgin.
Ian Barnett (Director) : Telecoms entrepreneur, creating telco voice businesses with multi-million dollar turnover, partnering with Citic, Worldcall, Sygmatel, and Lebara in the UK. Forged partnerships with the largest global MNOs and top10 Skype global voice provider.
The advisory board is also composed of huge names, such as : managing director of JP Morgan, Director General of Regulation of Kenya, Senior Credit Officer in Virgin Mobile, WIND, Bouygues Telecom, MD of GE.
The team is currently deploying their test network in Zanzibar, and expects a fully working network and MainNet launch as of Q3-4-2022. The proof-of-concept is already working.
Everything is recorded and relayed through their Youtube channel
Screenshot from their Deck
4 – Tokenomics
The public sale was one of the most professional and fair event I have every witnessed in the crypto sphere, with a small supply being released and reserved each week so that anyone that wanted to could get in without being out-rushed by bots like any other launch in there. Unfortunately some countries such as the USA were legally restricted to take part.
Only 10% of the tokens have been released yet through public sale, the rest will be released through the next 20 years to node operators and network operators. The distribution will be as follows :
Obvious and only real potential competitor right now is Musk’s Starlink, which concerned me about the project at first. Then came this reply by the team in r/WorldMobileToken:
Starlink is an expensive solution for the connected and is currently NOT subsidised anywhere else other than the USA.
WM will fill a vacuum by providing all existing connectivity providers with a way to connect unreachable markets whilst providing big tech companies access to the customers they are looking for. WM will not compete with Starlink, we will be a potential customer for their backhaul services.
It’s a common misconception on how Starlink works, and alot of people mis understand, (that’s not to say this is the case with you) you cannot just turn on Wi-Fi and connect to starlink there will still need to be infrastructure on the ground to support connectivity, as mentioned above WM provide a use case for back haul. WM is working with existing LEO providers to consider using them for our more remote villages and islands where backhaul is a real challenge.
Many companies have successfully deployed parts of our business already: WiFi hotspots in cafes or restaurants and solar powered nodes have all been field tested. However no one has yet put them together as one solution and built a hybrid mobile network for mass adoption.
We built our network to be technologically agnostic and welcoming to all existing and new node operators to create a truly inclusive connection solution and business opportunity.
Facebook, Microsoft and Google represent the big tech companies trying to connect the seemingly unconnectable. There are over 1000 MNO’s making up more than a 2 trillion dollar market and still half the world remains offline. We believe the failure to provide a sustainable connection is due to their business model. Unlike these big tech companies, we believe a problem shared is a problem solved, together.
World Mobile is based on the sharing economy and incentivizes sustainability by rewarding anyone who joins the network.
World Mobile was created to bring mass inclusion for everyone by providing access to digital connectivity around the world.As more people join the network in our quest for affordable and accessible connectivity which includes benefits like obtaining a digital ID, and subsequently accessing digital banking and facilitating trade, the value of our network will mean everything to the unconnected who are going to get connected. The sharing economy is intrinsic to the strategy behind our network and will be a catalyst for rapid organic mass adoption as network operators and node owners, including local communities and entrepreneurs will be earning and sharing in the rewards. This inherently creates an incentive for everyone involved in the network to promote and protect the network that they all own a piece of. More of the unconnected masses will soon enjoy connectivity and digital identity together, and will get access to many more financial services through the power of the blockchain, which will be a life-changing event for millions.
5 – Random general thoughts
Just a few random things I realized since I’m following the project (early 2021) :
The communication through Telegram, Reddit and Twitter is amazing. Every single question, even the most retarded I had received a well detailed and very knowledgeable response. Even when some FUD was thrown, all the replies were completely professional
The public sale was an amazing experience, unlike any other projects were only whales with bots can get in (see tokenomics section)
People in remote areas of Africa are more educated and developed than we think, but many have to go to the next big town to have access to the internet. I remember a trip in Kenya, where we were visiting a small masai village and people looked like they were living in prehistoric times. We wanted to help them and they casually dropped us their email, telling us they can only respond on mondays and wednesdays when they travel to the nearby town for groceries.
Bringing connection to these parts means essential businesses will come along, so the World Mobile token will bring even more traction from these businesses needing connection. Positive feedback loop.
Nodes can be set up anywhere, so even if remote parts of Africa are for now targeted, anywhere in the world we can see antennas pop once the MainNet is live
Education is the key to many problems in the world. And without connection, many minds can stay blocked to their small scale.
All in all, this is probably my favorite crypto project as it has a real-world application and will help many get access to education, knowledge and other amazing capacities of our modern world.