Vital_Wave_Consulting_Affordable_Computing_TCO11June08
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Vital_Wave_Consulting_Affordable_Computing_TCO11June08


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country to country. sampling of developing countries
Insurance Assume insurance is cost prohibitive in most countries and hence theft/damage costs are incurred during the 5 year TCO. 
Input from emerging market technology and 
education experts 
Amortization Costs are included when incurred and are not amortized over several years.
Currency All prices are in US$. 
IT Technician Daily 
Rates 
Assume a daily rate for IT technicians of US$64 ($8 per hour) for Microsoft-trained IT 
professionals and an 8.5% higher rate, US$69.44 (US$8.68 per hour) for Linux-trained IT 
professionals. Assume that the daily rate for rural areas is 10% higher. Data on the costs of 
hiring Linux- and Microsoft-trained professionals indicate that in both developed country 
and developing-country contexts, Linux-trained professionals command higher salaries and 
are thus more expensive to retain. Salary surveys conducted in the U.S., Britain, and 
Australia by payscale.com consistently show that Linux-certified professionals earn 10-20% 
more than their Microsoft counterparts. The Red Hat India website claims that Red Hat-
certified professionals earn up to 30% more than Microsoft-certified professionals (RHCE: 
What does it mean? on Red Hat website, 
http://www.redhat.in/training/rhce_meaning.php). 
 
Although evidence is more anecdotal, the salary gap in countries such as China, India, 
Pakistan and South Africa appears to be similar, if not higher, that that in developed 
countries. According to a headhunter at a leading Chinese recruitment firm, a senior 
developer at a major foreign software firm, and the head of a medium-sized Chinese 
software firm (approximately 50 staff), salaries for Linux IT professionals are from 30% 
(systems administrators) to 43% (software developers) higher than salaries for Microsoft IT 
professionals in the same categories. Linux-experts in South Africa estimate that the 
differential between Linux and Microsoft IT professionals is closer to 10-20%, with Linux 
professionals earning the premium salaries. A global staffing firm and a high-tech company 
with affiliates in India as well as a local IT services firm estimate that Linux IT professionals 
in India earn up to double their Microsoft Certified Engineer peers. A major staffing firm in 
Pakistan provided survey data that found that Linux IT professionals with three years of 
experience earn 12.5% more than Microsoft professionals with the same number of years 
experience. 
IT technician salaries were calculated based on 
an analysis of salary surveys (IT salary 
benchmarks from 2006 in Asia, 
http://www.zdnetasia.com/techjobs/salary-
benchmarks/), IT technician jobs posted on 
career websites in Latin America and data from 
IT experts in China, India, Pakistan and South 
Africa. 
Cost Categories 
Initial costs: out-of-pocket costs for initial acquisition of the solution, Recurrent costs: 
ongoing costs incurred during the lifetime of the equipment, Hidden Costs: Often 
unanticipated or under-estimated post-purchase, one-time charges 
 
Computer life-cycles 
Assume that both the mainstream and the low-cost computers have a 5 year lifecycle and 
hence no repurchase during the five-year TCO. Assume that ultra-low cost laptops and 
secondhand computers have 3 year lifecycles and require one repurchase during the five-
year TCO period. 
Computer lifecycles are based on assumptions 
laid out by GeSCI, the global e-schools and 
communities initiative, an NGO supported by 
Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, and 
Canada. Available from: 
http://www.gesci.org/files/GeSCI%20TCO%2
0Tool.xls 
Vital Wave Consulting, Inc. Confidential and Proprietary. 
Do not copy or send to third-parties in whole or in part. 
Affordable Computing for Schools in Developing Countries Page 19 of 34 
Copyright 2008 8/15/2008 
Rural area Population under 5,000 and infrastructure poor (i.e., lack of broadband Internet, unstable electricity) 
Urban Area Population greater than 5,000 with adequate infrastructure (i.e, broadband Internet, stable electricity) 
Primary School Grades one through five or the first five years of formal education. This definition is consistent with the one used by the United Nations Millennium Development Project. 
UN Millennium Project, \u201cBackground Paper of 
the Task Force on Education and Gender 
Equality\u201d 
http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documen
ts/tf03edapr18.pdf 
Secondary School 
Grades nine through 12. Many countries, as well as UNESCO, separate secondary school 
into segments such as lower secondary or upper secondary school (\u201cmiddle\u201d or \u201cjunior high 
school\u201d, and \u201chigh school\u201d in the U.S.). 
UNESCO 
TCO Philosophy: 
Reasonable costs 
TCO assumes reasonable costs or sufficient enough investment in order to ensure the 
operation and use of the computer equipment during the five-year TCO period. Under this 
philosophy, items such as corruption, mismanagement and illegally acquired software are 
excluded from the TCO. 
 
 
 
Cost-specific Assumptions 
Cost Item Assumptions and Calculations Source(s) 
Initial Costs 
Total Retrofitting, Wiring and Infrastructure Costs 
Total Retrofitting, 
Wiring and 
Infrastructure Costs 
For the computer lab environment, assume a school will use an existing room to house the computer lab 
and will conduct two or three of the following activities prior to installing the computers: installing and 
purchasing an air conditioning unit capable of cooling a 300 square foot classroom, light construction 
(including flooring, adding security features such as bars on windows or extra locks), furniture (i.e., 
computer tables, locked cabinets and chairs) and electrical wiring and/or electrical infrastructure upgrades. 
The total assumed cost for these facility and technology infrastructure improvements is US$3,497, the 
estimated cost of two or three of these enhancements is $2,100. Actual costs will greatly depend upon 
local conditions. Assume any price differentials for rural areas will not impact overall costs. For the 
classroom environment, assume a school will only need to conduct only one or two of these upgrades, for 
a total investment of US$1,398. 
Third party studies - developing 
countries** and Input from 
emerging market technology and 
education experts* 
Total Hardware Costs 
Computer Hardware: 
Student computer, 
Mainstream Computer: Assume a price of US$750 for the mainstream computer, which is a desktop 
computer with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Assume that the computer lab is equipped with 16 
The price was calculated based on 
the creation of a typical 
Vital Wave Consulting, Inc. Confidential and Proprietary. 
Do not copy or send to third-parties in whole or in part. 
Affordable Computing for Schools in Developing Countries Page 20 of 34 
Copyright 2008 8/15/2008 
PC and Laptop 
Servers, and control 
software 
mainstream computers, one of which is a "PC Server" and functions as the server as well as a student or 
teacher-used computer. Assume a one-year, comprehensive, on-site warranty for each computer. 
configuration derived from a scan 
of recent government tenders 
found on dgMarket and 
government procurement 
websites for computers for 
primary and secondary schools 
from developing countries in 
Eastern Europe, the Middle East, 
Asia and Latin America. 
Computer Hardware: 
Student computer, 
PC and Laptop 
Servers, and control 
software 
Low-cost Computer: Assume a price of US$500 for the low-cost computer, which is a desktop computer 
with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Assume that the computer lab is equipped with 16 low-cost 
computers, one of which is a "PC Server" and functions as the server as well as a student or teacher-used 
computer.