All of that has apparently combined to make Namibia the ideal place to experiment with "green" mobile networks. The base stations that have been installed are, it is reported, completely self-sufficient. Between solar panels and a small wind turbine, enough electricity is produced to not only run the base station, but to also electrify the surrounding fence to keep out wild game (and, left unsaid, probably thieves).
Crucial to the operability of these base stations is that they eschew the standard GSM mobile technology for WiMax, which requires less power (Intel ought to be ecstatic).
The new green base stations are being given a four-month trial run to see how well they work. Assuming they pan out, these stations could soon be at the heart of the truly wireless world, where every square inch of Earth, from pole to pole, Death Valley to the summit of Mount Everest, is on the global information broadband grid.
When that day comes, and it is coming fast, civilization will change in ways we can't yet imagine. And the revolution won't have begun in Silicon Valley, or even Bangalore, but in Bandon, Ore., and the nation of Namibia.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Michael S. Malone, once called the Boswell of Silicon Valley, is one of the nation's best-known technology writers. He has covered Silicon Valley and high-tech for more than 25 years, beginning with the San Jose Mercury News, as the nation's first daily high-tech reporter. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Fortune, and for two years he was a columnist for The New York Times. He was editor of Forbes ASAP, the world's largest-circulation business-tech magazine, at the height of the dot-com boom. Malone is best-known as the author or co-author of a dozen books, notably the best-selling "Virtual Corporation." Malone has also hosted three public television interview series, and most recently co-produced the celebrated PBS miniseries on social entrepreneurs, "The New Heroes." He has been the ABCNEWS.com "Silicon Insider" columnist since 2000.