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E-mail over HF radio S.R. Chanzi Manager Wino Development Association, Songea Rural District, Tanzania.

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Presentation on theme: "E-mail over HF radio S.R. Chanzi Manager Wino Development Association, Songea Rural District, Tanzania."— Presentation transcript:

1 E-mail over HF radio S.R. Chanzi Manager Wino Development Association, Songea Rural District, Tanzania




5 WINO WARD Communications are sometimes hard due to e.g. heavy rains

6 WINO village shop

7 WINO DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION – A LOCAL NGO (WIDA) WIDA was established in 1990 by the support of Malmöhus Läns Hushållningssällskap Support also from Forum Syd (SIDA) and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Agriculture Marketing Cooperative (WAMCS) Microfinance Bank (SACCO) Over 40 female groups Youth program Self help programs

8 E-MAIL OVER HF RADIO IN TANZANIA Connects remote sites without access to a telephone line via "E-Mail via HF Radio" to the Internet and the world. Uses standard HF Radio and Terminal Node Controller (Modem) to connect to commercial Internet and E-mail Server Nodes to: - Send and receive E-mail from/to everywhere within Tanzania and worldwide Send a fax by email to any fax in the world (via e.g. faxaway) The Radio E-mail system can be used with standard amateur HF radios and does not require expensive proprietary hardware.

9 E-MAIL OVER HF RADIO IN TANZANIA.. (cont) The data is individually encrypted and therefore eavesdropping by other stations is not possible, unlike with amateur radio data transmission systems. Easy to use, automatic software and robust dependable hardware. Support that is only a radiocall away. Remote control capability to help with troubleshooting the setup of the system. SIDA donated a modem in January 2002 to WIDA

10 HOW IT WORKS Microwave, high bandwidth frequency technologies like 802.11b provides line-of-sight connection of 10 miles or so. This won't do for the vast distances and wild terrain we need to cover in rural Africa. HF radio is different. Its longer waves roll out across the landscape, reflecting off the ionosphere to follow the curvature of the earth. This gives HF signals a range in the hundreds of miles. However, where HF wins the wireless game in range, it loses in data capacity. If 802.11b is considered broadband, think of HF as slim-to-none-band. The radio modems we are using are speed at an anorexic 2400 baud! (With compression perhaps 4800 baud)

11 HOW IT WORKS..(cont.) Two-way radio is the classic half-duplex medium of communication; that is, you are either transmitting--push to talk--or receiving, not both at the same time. Forget about on-line browsing, chat, video-conferencing and the like. But for classic store-and-forward applications like text- based e-mail, the bandwidth limitation of HF radio is workable.

12 WHAT EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED? Radio license, $80 LapTop or Desktop computer (WIN95 or later). Preferably Pentium class, but a 50 MHz 486 will work. A TNC (Radio Modem) $250-$450, (Pactor I) $650-$1100 (Pactor II-III) A stable Radio Amateur type SSB radio. 50 watts is plenty! $1000 An antenna. $50-$400 A power supply, for LapTop installation, typically: 1-2 12V batteries $50-$70 1-2 solar panels $500-$1000 1 charge controller $150-$300

13 TYPICAL MONTHLY CHARGES The current monthly rental for BushLinks Pactor III Clients is $15/month. ($30 for the 3 times slower Pactor II ) Then there are volume charges (sending and receiving) depending upon message size: Messsage Size (kb) $/kb 1-40.09 4-250.08 25+0.03 Typically the monthly cost would be around $60-$70 for only text messages, but more if lots of attachments are sent.

14 EXPERIENCES During the period February 1 to December 13 2002 in total 1285 messages were sent and 1569 received. Costs were TSh 1000 or 1500 for member/non-member A number of power outages No appended files (<100 kb) Best coffee prices in Tanzania, $20,000+ generated through better communications

15 BENEFITS The e-mail service has provided easy communication with outside world. Like: -Information to/from Gov. and other organizations -Information to/from relatives -Market prices for agro products -Communication with NGOs -Communications with WIDA Dar Group Dispensary

16 THE NEAR FUTURE A Ku-band VSAT, with 0.9 m dish is beeing installed for Internet connections to SatComNet Tanzania by local ISP Uhuru Online Initial speed is 32/32 kb/s Monthly airtime fee $199 Upgradable to 1 Mb/s

17 THE NEXT FUTURE A commerical Company, (limited by guarantee) WETCO will operate the power supply and telecommunications in Songea Rural District. (Wino, Mahanje, Madaba etc.) More than 100 km underground 11 kV power cables including optical fibres will be constructed together with the successive development of hydro power capacity.

18 CONCLUSION Good experience from E-mail over HF radio Commercially viable Many people and organizations benefit from easier communications Next stage a VSAT with 32 kb/s Internet connectivity Optical fibres to be distributed in the area by new Commercial enterprise WETCO Telecommunications, Internet, TV etc. to follow.

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