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Author Topic: WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON BINGA WIRELESS  (Read 9433 times)
Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« 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

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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 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
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #2 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
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #3 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. Huh
 
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
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #4 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
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #5 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
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #6 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

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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #7 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
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #8 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.
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #9 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
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #10 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

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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #11 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.
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #12 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 Smiley

best regards,
aaron.
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #13 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

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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #14 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 
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