The boy behind the phone that doesn’t need airtime

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Meet Simon Petrus, a Namibian Grade 12 learner who has invented a mobile phone that is not only SIM-less, but also doesn’t require airtime to make calls

It may not be the sleek, light or slim structure that we’ve come to expect from our mobile phones, but it does the job and more importantly… it does it for free.

Using spare parts from a telephone and a television set, Petrus has built a handset that uses radio frequencies to place calls anywhere as long as there is signal. The invention also functions off power supplied through a radiator.

According to Namibian publication New Era, it took Petrus two years to develop his invention, which was funded by his unemployed parents, and cost around N$2 000 (R2 000) to produce.

The unit also features sockets that enable cellphones to be charged, a light bulb and a fan as well as the capability to watch TV through his box.

Petrus’s invention has already earned him first place in the regional leg of the NamPower schools competition and he will now go on to compete in the national finals round.

This is the second time he’s reached this stage of the competition, after clinching a gold medal last year for a two-in-one seed drier and cooler machine he invented.

Taimi Vatileni, Petrus’s physical science teacher at Abraham Iyambo Senior Secondary School in the rural Ohangwena region, says Petrus is his top performing student.

“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,” Vatileni was quoted saying.

A young star on the rise and an African inventor to watch, Petrus has aspirations to pursue a career in electronics engineering.

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Prince is Solutions-driven programmer with a few years track record of commended performance in modular and object-oriented programming. Well-versed in all phases of the software development lifecycle, with a strong working knowledge of algorithms and data structures. Proven success engineering customized solutions improving business processes, operations and profitability.

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