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Building Affordable Wireless Networks for Research, Education and Humanitarian Use

by Marco Zennaro and Ermanno Pietrosemoli, International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)
Sebastian Buettrich and Dale Smith, Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC)
Emmanuel Togo, University of Ghana-Legon

ICTP and NSRC personnel teach numerous courses around the world each year to spread knowledge and best practices about wireless networking – and assist organizations with installing long distance backbone links and integration of wireless into the campus (or village) LAN.

This tutorial focuses on building wireless networks in universities, schools, villages, and other communities of interest to provide Internet access using wireless network technologies, with an emphasis on affordability and scalability. Based on field experiences working in dozens of programs around the world to build wireless infrastructure and train network developers, the program will outline strategies and techniques for planning, deploying and managing wireless networks for research, education and humanitarian use.

The tutorial highlights systems-based design, emphasizing participatory development to optimize the best outcome for the local user community.

The audience for this tutorial is network developers, service providers, university system administrators, and program managers with NGOs seeking to build wireless networks.

Introduction to wireless networking for campus (or village) WiFi and backbone applications
Unlicensed spectrum and standards
Wireless network planning tools and strategies
RadioMobile
Addressing power availability constraints and solutions
Best practices for design and integration of wireless into the campus or community LAN

Case study examples from the field:

1..Deploying an affordable, scalable WiFi network for student access at the University of Ghana-Legon WiFi modifications for long distance applications, and antenna alignment techniques
2. Long-distance wireless network between health clinics and hospitals in Malawi
3.Large-scale wireless data network in Venezuela
4. Multi-island wireless network in Galapagos
5.Pacific Islands Schools, Connectivity, Education, and Solar (PISCES) Project in Guam and Micronesia
6. Sengerema community mesh in Tanzania

 

 

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