Graham Matthews writes:
> I am not sure I am competent to comment on industry standards, but
> here in Swaziland we are achieving a consistent no-busy tone record
> with significantly fewer than one modem per eight unlimited-access
> dial customers. (We have also standardised on 33,600 bps modems,
> until we implement the V90 standard at least.)
Graham, is there a line usage charge by your telecoms operator in
Swaziland? That might discourage extended use, allowing providers to
offer fewer modems and telephone lines. Another difference with the
American market may be the availability and affordability of second
telephone lines. Even when there is only one line, there is a spike
in usage for business around noon, and another for residential use
in the early evening. Businesses in America strive for no busy
signals during such peak periods. To test this, one would need to
count the number of minutes and time of day each day that all
working modems in a modem bank are occupied.
Without getting bogged down on this side issue, however, the point
was that there is a congestion issue with HF radio email just as
there is with a more conventional service.
HF radio requires one "modem" for each live connection I think. It
may even require one transceiver for each live connection -- not sure
about that, so perhaps someone else can comment. The transceiver and
"modem" together cost perhaps $6000. And a technician told me
that there was an issue about having two transceivers operating close
to each other, though a good technician was supposed to be able to
figure out how to resolve it.
Hence the possible need for volume charges.
Having said that, there is a provider in Benin that does not charge
for volume. I was speculating about that with another colleague last
week, and we were wondering about the quality of their service,
whether there are congestion problems, etc.
Jeff @ Washington
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