All articles

Be-Bound in Action: Making Addresses Easily Locatable for the Ivory Coast

Forget about the 4 Billion people without Internet access for a moment. There’s another problem affecting 4 Billion people: invisible physical addresses. Those without an official address are invisible to delivery systems. From mail delivery, to emergency services, the simple fact of having an address is something most of us take for granted, but is something that would be life-changing for those without. That’s why Be-Bound is joining what3words on an initial project that will be launched in the Ivory Coast to make every location, locatable. Be-Bound and what3words are working with La Poste in the Ivory Coast with the goal of making mail delivery as efficient as possible.

Project Dor2Dor, a specially designed smartphone app, is a first step toward improving location services in the Ivory Coast for mail delivery.  The project has already received attention from The Washington Post, BBC News, cnet, and Quartz. In the Ivory Coast, internet coverage is less than 20%, and less than 10% of the population has a useable physical address.  For mail delivery, trying to determine where remotely located individuals might live is a challenge not easily overcome. La Poste is aiming to put in place a logistical platform that is economically viable, capable of forwarding all types of products or packages to the entire Ivory Coast population, no matter what the point of delivery. And in order to do that, the CEO of La Poste, Isaac Gnamba-Yao, brought together what3words, a company with a unique geolocation system and Be-Bound, the company with the mobile technology that guarantees constant mobile connectivity, no matter what the network.

Both startups, what3words and Be-Bound, target the world’s 4 Billion people that have been left behind. For what3words, there are 4 Billion people without physical addresses, and therefore rendered invisible. For Be-Bound, there are 4 Billion people still without Internet, and therefore digitally disconnected.  what3words solves this through vocabulary geolocation.Be-Bound’s compression technology solves this by bringing internet services to the most remote areas. Together, we’re about to change the lives of millions of people. Project Dor2Dor will be the first project proving what these two businesses are capable of together.

What’s the trick with what3words? They have divide the earth into a global grid of 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares. Each 3×3 square is then identified by 3 words, recognizable in the local language. For example, if I want to grab a coffee as I write this, the nearest café to Be-Bound’s office is located at “marginal.water.ambient”. If you want to play a little game, go ahead and visit the what3words map and find out the 3 words that identify favorite address! As you can imagine, this service has unbelievable importance for emergency services or anyone working in remote areas, or countries where addressing systems are still in need of standardizing…and of course mail delivery.  With Be-Bound, what3words widens their service’s geographic reach, so that users can access locations wherever there’s a phone signal.

what3words map of New Zealand
An example of how what3words pinpoints a location in New Zealand

Dor2Dor will first start operations between La Poste and OCP of the Ivory Coast. La Poste of the Ivory Coast will distribute OCP products to all 5000 of their wholesalers, who work with 7 million farmers from the Ivory Coast. A smartphone app will be developed for this purpose, with one side dedicated to the OCP/La Poste, and the other side dedicated to the end clients: the farmers.

Can you imagine living somewhere, that was essentially invisible to the rest of the world? That’s a reality for Billions, and that’s something that’s about to change.