In the Developing World, new technical solutions are being
installed to address issues fundamental to life – lighting, water pumps,
electricity for mobile phones and appliances.
· Supplies of spare parts that cannot be simply copied or obtained elsewhere,
· Software maintenance – to:
o Fix bugs
o Head off new virus threats
o Cope with changes in the situation the equipment has to deal with
o Provide continued compatibility with other equipment containing software that has been upgraded,
· More and more products only function by talking to a server maintained by the manufacturer
If the manufacturer stops providing these functions for any
reason at all, the product may suddenly become useless. We don’t have a good
word for this continued dependence on the manufacturer after purchase, but it
is increasingly the dominant factor in determining end-of-life.
There are three ways in which Evonet is tackling this issue:
· Campaigning for the degree of continued dependence on the manufacturer after purchase to be explicit in supply agreements, and for repairability to be an integral part of Product Specifications,
· Ensuring that compatibility between system components is clear – specifically between off-grid electricity supply systems and domestic appliances, and supporting standardisation initiatives for off-grid domestic appliances,
· Providing education and training in maintenance and repair of electronic products in West Africa.