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AFRIK-IT  January 2006

AFRIK-IT January 2006

Subject:

Wireless WAN comparisons sought

From:

Patrick O'Beirne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Fri, 20 Jan 2006 09:26:17 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (47 lines)

As some of you may know, I've worked with LEOsats for email 
store-and-forward applications.

I am now investigating wireless mail and instant message networks in 
regions without power or telecommunications lines or availability of mobile 
networks.

What I would really like now is any comparative analysis of the different 
technologies available and their actual costs when implemented in remote 
regions, and any comments on their reliability based on experience.
Ideally this would be freely available from a development organisation, but 
I would also like to know of any reports from commercial research analysts.

The data volumes are low - even old fashioned amateur packet radio would 
probably do for the 9600 - 56000 bps range of speeds. I think we'll need 
always-on (which is why I am looking outside my pacsat experience), but 
latency of a few seconds should not be a problem.

Distances are 1-10 Km. I *think* line-of-sight may be always available, but 
that may be simply imposed by the capability of available solutions.

Power consumption has to be low enough to be supportable by renewable 
power; this obviously has cost implications in that solar panels may be 
more expensive than the comms equipment!

I have no bias or preference for OS - DOS, Windows, Linux, or unusual ones 
like Psion, etc. I am expecting most real-life case studies to be networks 
of remote PCs or laptops or handhelds networked to a central server, but 
our interest is in message alerts rather than bandwidth-heavy software 
applications. For that reason, I would also like to hear from anyone who 
has used wireless for remote data collection, eg from water meters, weather 
observatories, or similar.

Cost is a parameter rather than a cut off point. Having said that, I think 
we will probably exclude the most expensive broadband satellite solutions, 
but circumstances alter cases and some locations may have the budget for that.

I'd like to hear from others who have implemented working networks in this 
area. I know of some from previous contacts, but I'd like to put out this 
call to refresh my awareness.

Regards


  Patrick O'Beirne, Systems Modelling Ltd.
  http://www.sysmod.com/

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