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Grantees Profile

Hajar El Hammouti

Country (Nationality)


Grantee Title

Project: Broadband Internet Access for Unconnected and Under-connected areas

Grantee Description

Research area:

Wireless Communication and Networking Systems

Host Organisation & country:

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco


 A large population of African countries suffers from digital exclusion. The main reason for the digital gap is the low telecommunications investments in the areas where the population income is very low. Therefore, it is important to study novel and practical telecommunication solutions that are adapted to underprivileged regions and come at low costs. In this context, our research project will answer the question: how to provide Internet access to unconnected and under-connected regions quickly and with reduced costs?

Grantee Description

Prof. Hajar El Hammouti works as an Assistant Professor with the School of Computer Science, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir, Morocco. She received her Ph.D. degree in computer science and telecommunications from National Institute of Posts and Telecommunications (INPT) in 2017. Her research interests focus on modelling and optimizing wireless communication systems, including Internet of Things and unmanned aerial vehicles networks.

Prof. Hajar El Hammouti is also interested in the application of machine learning and game theory to the broad area of mobile communications.

Project: Broadband Internet Access for Unconnected and Under-connected areas

Around half of the world's population (i.e., 4 billion people) is living in unconnected or under-connected areas where Internet penetration is very weak or non-existent. Most of this population lives in low-income areas, particularly in Africa, with high illiteracy rates. The traditional communication infrastructure is costly, and operators are not encouraged to invest in network infrastructure in the absence of a viable business model that ensures a return of investment. This results in a vicious cycle: low-income populations cannot pay for Internet access; therefore, they do not have access to e-learning and online job opportunities; hence, they cannot improve their income to attract telecommunications investments. Our project aims at breaking this vicious digital cycle by proposing cost-efficient solutions to operators and telecommunication stakeholders. Our focus is on non-terrestrial telecommunication systems. In fact, flying infrastructures (e.g., high aerial platforms, low earth orbit satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc.) have been considered as a promising technology to ensure a large coverage at low costs. In our project, we will study the performance of non-terrestrial networks (NTN) against alternative solutions. We will identify use cases where NTN outperform terrestrial networks. We will also propose intelligent resource allocation approaches for NTN to further improve their performance and reduce the costs. We will give particular attention to energy efficiency as we will propose mechanisms to reduce the energy consumption for NTN. Finally, we will provide an economic analysis to evaluate the performance of NTN for multiple use cases and propose incentive mechanisms to encourage the stakeholders to invest in underprivileged areas. In sum, our project will provide a clear roadmap to accelerate Internet access in Africa.