Lack of landline telephone lines is forcing Tibetans to use VoIP and Gmail Fax technology

Tibet — a region on the Tibetan plateau in Asia, located 4500 metres above sea level on an average and home to six million Tibetans and fellow Chinese population, is acclaimed as the Roof of the World with the highest mountain ranges on the Planet Earth. Tibet finds home to World’s best spiritual leaders, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, better known as HHDL and is among one of the most diverse nations among the World. Millions from all over the World visit the Land of Snow annually, for recreation and to find their Inner Voice amidst the serene beauty of the Himalayas and the rich regional and cultural diversity offered by Tibet.

Communication infrastructure in Tibet is blooming due to use of internet services, but the local population is still suffering deficiency of landline telephonic services and available high cost options for communication. Among all the cheap and viable alternatives, Tibetans found VoIP and Gmail to Fax technology the best for personal and professional uses. Internet is available in almost all the provincial states surrounding capital city, Lhasa, house to all major tourism and industrial offices in Tibet. But most Tibetans don’t own a landline telephone and(or) a fax machine. The reason for such shortage of resources is lack of proper availability of these resources in the hilly and difficult-to-reach land, among other political and economic reasons.

In recent times, Tibet, the treasure land of towering mountains and vast waters, becomes the most famous attraction to domestic and foreign tourists and pioneers with its unique charm. Experts suggest that among recent developments, the implementation of the Fiber Optic Cable Network has been responsible for this rising attraction towards Tibet. Alongside, increased global interest in Tibetan Buddhism, beautiful landscape and peace of mind the place offers, also add to the fact that Tibet tourism is flourishing. Many tourism businesses and infrastructure development activities have gained pace in Tibet, thanks to Tibet’s government policies and rise of entrepreneurial streak among the Tibetans.

tibet-internet-infrastructureThe recent advancements in Tibetan lifestyle can be attributed to growth of Fiber Optic Network in the East Asian mainland, among other reasons. As for communications, Tibet is building a modern communication network system that is complete with Fiber Optic cables, Satellites and Internet. So far, mobile phones cover basically all administrative villages across Tibetan Autonomous Region(TAR), of which 670 (around 98 percent) have access to Fiber Optic cables.

Inspired by stories of Jugaad or Frugal innovation from India, Local Tibetans have developed an entrepreneurial streak. A resident of Lhasa, young entrepreneur Tashi Yangzou (20) is developing cutting edge Email-to-Fax service using Gmail. Tashi recalls his experience when he was unable to find a fax machine during a critical hour when he was supposed to send his documents for a college admission. Delayed by an academic year and victim of the lack of resources, he used his skills in Computer Science, and decided to develop something to combine the traditional and obsolete Fax, with the modern and trending Gmail, in order to combine the best of both technologies and came up with an innovative solution to deliver Fax from Gmail possible.

“When your work involves sending documents over to a lot of people, a fax machine is very useful. The sender just need a fax number and insert the document into a fax machine, connect to your telephone line and the documents are printed by the fax machine of the receiver. Tibet lacks traditional landline infrastructure but has an excellent Internet Fiber Optic Network. So I tried to use the best of both worlds — make Fax accessible through Gmail.”, recites Tashi (20). “Fax is fast, much faster than sending documents by the fastest mail services in Tibet and they are also cheap, which makes it quite popular among fellow Tibetans. You can also send the document via your smartphone, an added benefit,” clicks Tashi as he shows his Samsung Galaxy S3.

Here is a short guide that will make sending your faxes online like an ease.

Many instances arise where you need to fire off a document through fax but just cannot get an access to a fax machine. When the need is urgent, you become deeply troubled and your focus on things starts to get affected. Sending Fax online has become a trend and has replaced the traditional letters, as they incur time and money issues. More number of Tibetans are using IM as an alternative to Text Messaging, VoIP as an alternative to Mobile calls and Fax from Gmail as an alternative to traditional office Fax machines.

Internet is known to bridge gaps across Nations and bring the World closer. With the rapid advancement in technology, many things impossible have turned possible. And it is good that we take advantage of technology to solve social issues, apart from making daily tasks better. The internet has not only become an essential tool for business but for personal uses as well. Individuals all over the world need them in one way or another to make their everyday lives a lot easier. All businesses have to make sure that they implement this kind of technology in their operations as much as possible otherwise they would fall behind.

Long known for its traditional culture and beauty, Tibet is making use of modern technology to communicate and learn about the world as well as share about its own wonders.

Author: A. Baser