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IT Centers => Binga Wireless Project => Topic started by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007



Title: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
"Reliable, affordable and easy access to telecommunication services for all has been identified as key to social and economic development in Africa. Self-provisioning and community ownership of low cost, distributed infrastructure is becoming a viable alternative to increase the penetration of telecommunication services in rural Africa. The recent emergence of wireless mesh network technology (...) can help to improve the delivery of telecommunication services in these regions." (http://wirelessafrica.meraka.org.za/)

The Tonga.Online project is actually expanding and heading for such a new challenge in 2008: the establishment of a wireless communication network in Binga district by linking the existing (and upcoming) schoolbased ITC´s and other stakeholders with low cost WLAN infrastructure.

I would like to thank the Tonga.Online team, especially the Technical and Operations Manager Richard Simango, for the detailed update on connectivity options and outline of routes for the Binga wireless project (see above). This provides - together with the recently concluded feasibility study - for a good foundation for further discussion.

The Binga wireless endeavour is being undertaken in close collaboration of the Tonga.Online team with the Funkfeuer team from Austria - Roland Jankowski, Aaaron Kaplan, Franz Lax, Gerhard "Akku" Poller -  who have vast expertise in setting up and handling such devices.

You are welcome to join the discussion and contribute with your ideas and critical remarks. Please, send your feedback to the webeditor: argezim@silverserver.at
(sorry, due to massive spamming direct access to the forum is no longer feasible).

best wishes
Peter Kuthan
AZFA



Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
On Nov 28, 2007, at 9:27 AM, Kuthan / argezim wrote:

>> 2.4Ghz
>>
>> ISM, (Industrial, Scientific and Medical), Zarnet technically belongs to the Scientific part and hence they can rightfully use the ISM band. Sadly Potraz can not hear this. They cite many reasons amongst which is interference of 2.4Ghz with Medical equipment. Zarnet is trying to convince Potraz that they relax the rule for other purposes like education. However Zarnet has taken our request that they facilitate that we will be allowed at least in rural Binga to use 2.4Ghz. This matter is under discussion in Zarnet and Between Zarnet and Potraz.
>>
>> At the same token, we are not just waiting. Tonga Online is lobbying through other routes, to put a bit of political pressure on Potraz and we are doing this through writing a research paper that can dispel some uninformed fears by Potraz. This and many other efforts should bring good results sooner than later.
>>

you can tell them that ALL  of the developed countries allow unlicensed access to the 2.4GHZ ISM band as long as a sender does not exceed 100mW power (technically more correct: "100 milli Watt EIRP"). Over here hospitals explicitly say that 2.4GHZ wireless LAN is harmless in a hospital context (for medical equipment).

@funkfeuer.at people: can we maybe find some quotes on this issue? Anybody has some quotes on this? I found one some two or three years ago but can't find it now.


>> Whilst we were in Harare we also met the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), regarding, particularly, the National ICT policy. MST are the bosses for Zarnet as well. The ministry was excited to hear about our efforts and they indicated they cant wait to be invited to Binga and come and see ICT at work in rural schools. To us they are another opportunity for pushing Potraz on our behalf, Zarnet agrees on this as well.
>>

good!

>> Local administration in Binga, Governor, DA, CEO are also ready to assist in this matter and they are working with Pottar to come up with a position paper that can be pushed up the ranks. We all keep our fingers crossed.
>>

************************************************
 \___/    Leon Aaron Kaplan
 |___|    funkfeuer.at - wireless community net
 \___\    OLPC (Austria) grassroots organization


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Aaron

What you say is true about usage of 2.4.  Please note that in Zimbabwe,
that band was also freely used until it was banned, paving the way for
only the ISM sector to utilise. I will search for the document which
details this if you have an interest.
What Potraz has said before is that, all one needs to do is to apply,
putting down their reasons to use 2,4 and permission will be granted. This
is what some private schools have done and also Connect Africa as already
noted by Peter.

Regards,
Justin.

-----------------------------
Justin Mupinda
Country Program Coordinator
World Links Zimbabwe
Box MP 965
Mt Pleasant
Harare


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Justin,
 
Thanks for this valuable information. Please kindly make the relevant documentation available to me as well, it definitely will assist.
 
FACT: Connect Africa was granted only a temporary permit, through ZARNET which expires on the 31st of December 2007. ???
 
If Potraz did put something in black and white, kindly make that available to me as well and also a list of private schools that were permitted to operate 2.4.
 
Kind Regards,

Richard


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Aaron, Roland, Franz and akku,
 
Warm welcome to the Tonga Online Project. Thank you very much for the interest you have shown in this noble work. As you come aboard we are busy trying to convince POTRAZ, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, to allow us to operate 2.4Ghz. Aaron has already picked the stage that we are on at the moment. The future looks bright with all ideas coming from all angles. We really appreciate that.
 
From www.mulonga.net you will find out who is doing what in Tonga Online. Please feel comfortable to establish any facts from anybody relevant.
 
Whilst the 2.4 Ghz discussion is going on I suppose we could also deal with other issues pertinent  to our timely achievement of our goals. I know Peter has already started and probably shared the draft feasibility document that came from our work here in Binga.
 
You probably have an idea about the areas that we need to connect, in the pilot phase, and as we roll out to other place within the district. Also the solutions that we plan to rollout for schools and communities. And any other connectivity options. I am very keen, so is everyone here, to provide relevant information to make each one of us understand the challenges and the solutions.
 
As Peter rightfully indicated, lets prepare the ground now.
 
Welcome aboard FunkFeuer,

Richard


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Richard

I am sending to you in a separate e-mail, a document that will mae you
have an understanding of the licene exempt issues across Africa.

There are no offcial records of schools that have this exemption, so this
may only or is best found by talking to POTZRAZ.

Yes the temporary license expires in Dec for Connect Africa because this
was just a special project to demonstrate the low cost of wireless
connectivity.  The project will be terminated in December and hence also
the license.

Regards

Justin


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Peter,
 
Please put the document on the website for discussion. I really need a lot of feedback. I have send the document to the Funkfeuer team for their evaluation.
 
Already I am starting to get valuable feedback. One of which is that we have to write the Policy we wish to see in place. I will invite contributions in this matter particulary from Funkfeuer and other experts who can contribute towards a national ICT policy. Please circulate my request to many contacts. I really expect to get much information from people who have worked with the ISM bands, who understand its challenges and technical requirements. Put that up on the Website as well for discussion.

Kind Regards,
Richard



Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
From a review of the Draft Position Paper it was suggested that we develop a Policy Paper, writing how the ISM band Policy should read for Zimbabwe, giving technical and scientific reasons.

I have attached guidelines for the Policy BUT lets not be limited in scope by it, statements written in Blue are just comments.

Please kindly contribute towards the Policy framework from your experience and reading, giving Reasons, as this is important for us and our local regulator.

Suggestions should reflect more on the Binga situation where a single hope, MUST be 85KM due to circumstances beyond the engineers control in some cases.

Contributions should come until the 18th of December 2007. But if anybody needs more time, they should indicate so. Contributions can be made through www.mulonga.net

Assist by circulating this information to many experts, who can assist in this area.

More information about the Binga situation can be obtained from www.mulonga.net or simangor@gmail.com

The current policy makes the use of the ISM band illegal in Zimbabwe.

Kind Regards,
--
Richard Simango
Technical and Operations Manager
Tonga Online


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Mr. Simango,

Roland and me sat together recently and we discussed how we can assist you in the matters of frequency.
Will it help if we can name a few institutions in Ghana and South Africa which use the 2.4GHz frequency spectrum?
We reasoned that maybe if you know their status , how they dealt with their "Potraz"  and so on then it might be easier in Binga.

best regards,
Aaron Kaplan.


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Aaron,
 
True it will help. Then we can look at their regulatory environments.  I have looked at FCC rules of USA, probably I need more examples. What do the ISM specific regulations for Ghana & RSA say? Provide Links.
 
Also regulations from other developed nations, Germany, Austria, UK, what do they say exactly about ISM and what can we learn as Zimbabwe. In terms, particularly, of Managing Interference and maintaining a high QoS.
 
What is the situation in Namibia?
 
Regards

Richard


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Roland,
 
True this information would help a great deal BUT we need to understand more the Regulatory Environment that (the biggest ISP) they are working under,
 
What does the Law say about ISM band WLAN in Austria? How does the law ensure that there is minimum interference? How does the law protect the consumers against low QoS, or other users of the same band? This would be more relevant to the problem we are facing.
 
At the end, we want to suggest a SET of good regulations that will replace the BAN and its urgent.
 
Regards,

Richard



Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
we have a working "FCC" (i.e. wireless police) which checks that devices stay in the 100mW EIRP range.
For 2.4GHz , 100mW EIRP is allowed. In the 5.8GHz range, 1Watt EIRP is allowed and DFS must be used. Apart from that , everything is ok.
The devices need to have a "CE" sticker (certification for the EU).

a.


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Small update: I heard from Tanzania that there - WLAN access is completely liberated. No problems there.
Still - that is far away.

By the way - the way ISM band works is - nobody gets a guarantee for QoS. Everybody is allowed to send - but only very quietly (100mW).
So in total - imagine a cocktail party where everybody whispers and everybody listens very intent to the other partner - everybody can understand each other.

So: physics basically solves the problem :)

best regards,
aaron.


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
Dear Roland Dear All,
 
I have attached a jpeg with an impression of the possible WLAN layout for Binga, The distance between marked points A-B is 85Km, B-C is 45km, D-E about 50km and A-F about 40km. Between these points I have given there is no Electricity, it is forest and Lake in the case of B-C.

What are the possibilities of succeeding within 2.4 over these long distances and under the Austrian etc EIR Power Limit regulations?

"They dont use ISM for last mile" Whats the reason for this regulation? What solutions are used and how are these last mile solutions regulated?

Would the similar rules to FCC or Austria work for ZIM?

Richard Simango
Technical and Operations Manager
Tonga Online



Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
85 km is feasible but not easy.
It all depends on line of sight. If you can see from a tall place on one side to the other (mountain to mountain, hill to hill) then it will work provided that no major interference hinders you and provided that you have very good equipment.

> What are the possibilities of succeeding within 2.4 over these long distances and under the Austrian etc EIR Power Limit regulations?

It was already proven to work for 100km.

> .......hotspots throughout the country (they don't do
> last mile over wireless) for years..... .
>
> "They dont use ISM for last mile" Whats the reason for this regulation? What solutions are used and how are these last mile solutions regulated?
>

I lost the context here... sorry.

Aaron 


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 13 2007
i agree. it is feasible but not easy at all. a lot of preconditions have
to be met. and EIRP limit of 100mw at 2.4GHz can *not* be met. maybe
EIRP of 1000mw @ 5.8GHz can be enough but for 85km. for 2.4GHz i would at least suggest a 24dbi gain antenna and ~10-15dbm radio output (exact value has to be figured out on site). so EIRP would be far beyond 20dbm.

as aaron said another important precondition is the line of sight
and a obstacle free fresnel zone [1]. a 85km link would result in a
fresnel zone of ~50m diameter in the middle. se how to calculate it here: [2]
this means the antennas would have to be at least 25m over the ground (or on a hill,...) to have good physical conditions.

the ~40 km links can be done with 2.4GHz more or less within the 100mw EIRP with good equipement.

in generall, to have a good QoS and redundancy in case of failures we
should link B-D, D-F and E-F if feasable (LoS, FresnelZone)

in combination with olsr mesh routing [3] this would result in more robustness and performance and the extra costs for a couple of antennas
and routers are marginal.

best
/roland

---
[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel_zone

[2]
http://www.bcwireless.net/tools/rf/fresnel.main.cgi

[3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLSR


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 14 2007
Greetings Simango

I think someone has already made comments in relation
to the Geo-physical distances that you would like to
cover in Binga and that the power budget calculations
could be influenced by free space loss for those
distances of 85km between masts. I would be concern
that reliability will be compromised unless there is
clear LoS between the points, and knowing Binga I
guess not.

My experinece so far has indicated that using
off-the-shelf commercial grade (with hardened outdoor
electronics!) WiFi kit, you will get equipment that
has throughput curves effective at between 15 and 20
km. That means in your case, repeaters along the way
and therefore a question of power (in the bush) and
security.

I am sure you have done modelling in terms of what
connectivity solution you would prefer and your Total
Cost of Ownership points you towards WiFi. However
with all this equipment that needs to be installed,
protected, powered  - a less equipmnet intense
solution should prevail. If you get a satelitte link
to a central point and then mix and match with WiFi
for sites at less than 20km, that might help.

The project that my organisdation is executing and you
came and saw at the school in Highfields Harare is
working at distances of not more than 8 km betwen
access point and bridge and all I can say is that the
network has been tempremental at times and distnaces
issues and alignmnet have been problems.

I will give you regulatory recommendations for ISM.
Countries like South Africa and its "FCC" equivalent
ICASA, have simply turned a blind eye and self
regulation is working in places. More later

Muroro Dziruni
Connect Africa - Zimbabwe


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 14 2007
I do agree that 85km+ would be quite ambitious. I have talked to a few
RF engineers who do believe you can come up with a workable link
budget with some fairly sized antennas etc. Having been on site i would
think for this particular link, your legacy type long distance licensed microwave would be best . Wifi type could radiate from either site there of with i think the furthest points from either site being at most ~46km(R Simango can confirm) . There are a couple of who claim fellows with working ~70km links around.

I do believe that RSA's ICASA has a more favourable approach to ISM use in
as far as giving mandate to local authorites/municipals to allow/disallow the use
of the band in the specific geographical locations. I am looking forward to a meeting
spectrum engineers from ICASA to get whatever framework (if any) they used on
the use thereof. I would be glad to share the insight afterwards.

http://www.internet.org.za/ICASA_2.4_GHz_warning_notice.pdf

TC.


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 16 2007
reply from aaron:

On Dec 14, 2007, at 1:26 PM, Muroro Dziruni wrote:

> Greetings Simango
>
> I think someone has already made comments in relation
> to the Geo-physical distances that you would like to
> cover in Binga and that the power budget calculations
> could be influenced by free space loss for those
> distances of 85km between masts. I would be concern
> that reliability will be compromised unless there is
> clear LoS between the points, and knowing Binga I
> guess not.
>
> My experinece so far has indicated that using
> off-the-shelf commercial grade (with hardened outdoor
> electronics!) WiFi kit, you will get equipment that
> has throughput curves effective at between 15 and 20
> km. That means in your case, repeaters along the way
> and therefore a question of power (in the bush) and
> security.

With 5.8 GHz osbridges we achieve 31km without problems or tuning anything.
Line of sight is a strict requirement in any case.

>
> I am sure you have done modelling in terms of what
> connectivity solution you would prefer and your Total
> Cost of Ownership points you towards WiFi. However
> with all this equipment that needs to be installed,
> protected, powered  - a less equipmnet intense
> solution should prevail. If you get a satelitte link
> to a central point and then mix and match with WiFi
> for sites at less than 20km, that might help.

i might drop in the term: "mesh" and "multi hop" .
:)
It works.

Is SAT uplink allowed in Zim? I thought that VSAT was strictly forbidden, no?

>
> The project that my organisdation is executing and you
> came and saw at the school in Highfields Harare is
> working at distances of not more than 8 km betwen
> access point and bridge and all I can say is that the
> network has been tempremental at times and distnaces
> issues and alignmnet have been problems.
>
> I will give you regulatory recommendations for ISM.
> Countries like South Africa and its "FCC" equivalent
> ICASA, have simpoly turned a blind eye and self
> regulation is working in places. More later
>
good :)
aaron

> Muroro Dziruni


Title: Re: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS
Post by: Peter Kuthan / AZFA on December 29 2007
Re: [Tongaonline] mailinglist ... easier

Dear Aaron, hi all

good idea to look for ways how to make our communication and further discussion on Tonga.Online extension and especially "Binga wireless" more easy and clearly laid out.

I discussed this topic with Klaus and Stefan yesterday and we found that such a platform for communication should be integrated into the mulonga website as the discussion forum we would like to promote. This would also better provide for maximum transparency and participation.

What do you think? How to make the forum better accessible?

best wishes - for 2008!

Peter

Aaron Kaplan wrote:
> Hi!
>
> I subscribed everybody to a new mailings list. This makes it easier  and we don't have to CC everybody.
> In case somebody wants to be administrator of this list, let me know.
>
> I created the list from the CC list we had in the previous mails. We  found out that Daniel (funkfeuer) was not in the CC list although he  is very interested.
>
> So!
>
> Feel free to use this list (just reply to the list and everybody gets  it) . If you don't like the list, then you can also unsubscribe (or  change your settings ) on the link below.
>
> cheers,
> aaron.