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1 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 07 March 2006 Sherrin Isaac Wireless Africa Emerging Connectivity Options.

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Presentation on theme: "1 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 07 March 2006 Sherrin Isaac Wireless Africa Emerging Connectivity Options."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March March 2006 Sherrin Isaac Wireless Africa Emerging Connectivity Options

2 2 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Meraka The African Advanced Institute for ICT:  Strategic purpose: Increase ICT R&D intensity and beneficial impactIncrease ICT R&D intensity and beneficial impact SA and Africa scopeSA and Africa scope  Timeline: State of the Nation Address - February 2002State of the Nation Address - February 2002 Commencement of operations – 1 April 2005Commencement of operations – 1 April 2005 Launch 17 May 2005Launch 17 May 2005  Meraka = common grazing ground (Sesotho) Shared space for creative productivityShared space for creative productivity Emphasise African nature of scope and needsEmphasise African nature of scope and needs

3 3 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 World Class ICT Mission – Meraka Institute Economy Quality of Life People Research & Innovation SkillsQuantity

4 4 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Open Source Centre Application Innovation Technology Research World class needs based research in particular research areas Application of ICTs to “digital divide” related problems Meraka Structure Stimulate the adoption of FLOSS in Africa FLOSS R&D “Open”… is the Meraka Ethos Out there Build capacity, effectiveness Focus Critical mass Multidisciplinary More direct impact

5 5 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Open Source Centre Application Innovation Technology Research Human Capital Development (HCD) Visiting Experts / Scientists PhD Innovation Interns MSc / MEng Innovation Interns ICT Learners PostDocs PhD Research Interns MSc / MEng Research Interns 4 th year / honours project students Development of world class human capital World class needs based research in particular research areas Application of ICTs to “digital divide” related problems Meraka Structure Stimulate the adoption of FLOSS in Africa FLOSS R&D PhDs Address skills gaps: - Programmers - FOSS project managers

6 6 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Application Innovation Technology Research World class needs based research in particular research areas Application of ICTs to “digital divide” related problems Meraka Projects/Groups Open Source Centre Stimulate the adoption of FLOSS in Africa FLOSS R&D OpenMentor – knowledge OpenProject – develop tools OpenSpeak – awareness FLOSS R&D: Develop strategy Smartcards, etc. Human Language Technology ICT 4 Earth Observation Remote sensing High Performance Computing Artificial Intelligence Large scale data sets Digital Doorway National Accessibility Portal ICT 4 SMME Wireless Africa Community Owned Info Nets First Mile First Inch

7 7 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Wireless Africa  Impact: communications and applications serving the needs of rural communities  Method: Use existing technology innovativelyUse existing technology innovatively Change paradigm to first mileChange paradigm to first mile Bottom-up creation: involve communityBottom-up creation: involve community  Research: Wireless meshWireless mesh  Cantennas, MIMO, Business models, Testbeds Wireless securityWireless security Explore tech and social consequencesExplore tech and social consequences

8 8 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Presentation Outline Evolution of connectivity New paradigm (mesh) What options exist? Case study

9 9 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006Connectivity 1 2 Why connect?

10 10 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006Connectivity 1 2 PTP Link

11 11 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006Connectivity

12 12 Connectivity

13 13 Connectivity

14 14 Connectivity

15 15 Connectivity

16 16 Connectivity - broker Broker aka “the router”

17 17 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Connectivity - operator Internet Client Router

18 18 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Connectivity – operator blues! Ouch! No service! What happens now? Internet Client Router

19 19 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Connectivity - the problem Fixed line penetration less than 10% and dropping … ICASA, July’05 unacceptable situation in which some of our fixed line charges are 10x those of developed (OECD) countries … President Mbeki, Feb’05 Success with mobile phone penetration – still 6% of population not covered … Arthur Goldstuck, Dec’04 Due to the high levels of wage and wealth disparities in South Africa, operators are reluctant to adequately roll out infrastructure in the low income and under-serviced areas … HSRC‘01 Cost of ‘broadband’: R500 per month with 1 Gigabyte usage limit, if you are in the coverage areas … University of Johannesburg, Oct’05 Many years of R&D in low cost connectivity, but the problems stay the same

20 20 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Meraka - research programme Removing the barriers to enable bottom-up creation of access infrastructure 1. 1.Futures and foresight – –Urban revolution – –Rural evolution 2. 2.Technology research – –Mesh networks – –VoIP in a mesh – –Low cost devices – –Antennas – –Self-configuration – –Security 3. 3.Business/Regulatory models – –Community ownership – –Open hardware – –Alternative spectrum management

21 21 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Connectivity – mesh paradigm Client/router

22 22 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Paradigm shift From operator/telco model to user-deployed and user-owned grassroots infrastructure – –Community owned – –Each node is a client & router – –No monthly subs or usage fee for local ‘calls’ – infrastructure belongs to the users – –Cost sharing if ≥ 1 breakouts True “common grazing ground” - free information infrastructure Last mile => First mile Wireless Mesh Internet

23 23 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Pretoria Mesh

24 24 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Wireless mesh animation Pretoria mesh Hills, trees and buildings can block the links See how nodes discover each other and establish a link Omni antennas – circular wave propagation

25 25 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Connectivity options Options: – –ADSL/telephone/WiMAX – –Satellite/HAPS – –Cellular (3G, HSPDA) – –WiFi / infra-red – –Wireless mesh  Depends on: Existing connectivityExisting connectivity Technological suitability/constraintsTechnological suitability/constraints AffordabilityAffordability Meraka focuses on: community owned wireless mesh ADSL: R400 connection, R270 to R680 p.m. Sat: R2800 connection, R1350pm, R1150/GB p.m. Cell: R100 connection fee, R500/GB p.m. Mesh: R1200 connection 120 km

26 26 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Forms of “community networks”  Ownership Private company for profitPrivate company for profit Private company – not for profitPrivate company – not for profit Public entity (municipality)Public entity (municipality) Individual (community)Individual (community)  Pricing Subscription / membership feeSubscription / membership fee Usage feeUsage fee FreeFree Cross-subsidisationCross-subsidisation

27 27 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Case Studies – Mpumalanga mesh Where? Peables valley (40mins NE of Nelspruit) Why? Connect ACTS clinic with hospice Why mesh? hilly, distance, low skill, “missing” nodes

28 28 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Case Studies – Mpumalanga mesh + +

29 29 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Case Studies – Mpumalanga mesh  The movie!

30 30 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Lessons learnt  How do you do setup? NeedNeed  Community with settled issues (ownership, pricing)  Router, antenna, poles, drill, cable, power  expert  Surprises Lightning, power downs, windows junk, cantennas advertise to thievesLightning, power downs, windows junk, cantennas advertise to thieves Reliability/participation of some of the communityReliability/participation of some of the community Music downloads, voice communicationMusic downloads, voice communication 192kB/s data download over 3 hops on cantenna192kB/s data download over 3 hops on cantenna

31 31 SANGONeT Conference & Exhibition “ ICTs for Civil Society” 7-9 March 2006 Conclusion  Wireless Mesh is not the only option Meraka is interested in proliferation of mesh.Meraka is interested in proliferation of mesh.  How are they being used?  What are the problems?  If you would like to develop your own mesh please contact Kobus Roux Perhaps we can assistPerhaps we can assist


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