A Grade 12 learner from Abraham Iyambo Senior Secondary School, a rural school in Ohangwena Region, has invented a SIM-less mobile phone that does not need airtime to make calls.
Simon Petrus has put together parts from a telephone and television set that according to him, only uses a radio system.
However Simless, Inc., an Atlanta, Georgia-based telecommunications technology startup, founded by former AT&T and Deutsche Telekom employees, announced in 4 march 2015, that it has built the first GSM smartphone that does not require a plastic SIM card, but instead is capable of downloading virtual SIM cards over-the-air via a secure WiFi or dedicated cellular connection.
Other than this chargeable unit that works on a radiator, it also has a light bulb, a fan and a socket for its charger, among others.
This is not the only design Petrus has come up with. Last year he won a gold medal at the NamPower schools’ competition, held at the national level, for inventing a two-in-one machine that works as a seed drier and cooler.
The relatively shy learner claims he had worked on his latest project for about two years.
According to him, his unemployed parents sacrificed over N$2 000 during that period and made sure his project was successful by sourcing funds for it.
The invention, attached to a box, is made up of a radio system, an expired mobile phone SIM card, a light bulb and sockets to charge cellphones.
From this many-in-one unit Petrus is able to make calls to anywhere, with no interruption, as long as he is in an area where there are radio frequencies. He is also able to watch NBC1 TV on his box.
Last Friday Petrus’ project won first place at the regional level and he is now heading for the national competition.
“When he won last year some judges were of the opinion that there was an engineer at home who was helping him. But the only help he has is from us the teachers here at school. He came up with his own project,” said Taimi Vatileni, his physical science teacher.
According to Vatileni, generally Petrus is an average learner, but he is the best learner in the physical science class.
He is now aspiring to become an electronics engineer after he completes Grade 12.
Although his project is tops, Petrus is not the only innovative learner at that school.
Adreheid Hamutumwa self-produced bathing soap, made out of indigenous plants’ roots and animal fat.
She too is heading for the national competition as she came third at the regional level.
Source: New Era