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AFRIK-IT  February 1999

AFRIK-IT February 1999

Subject:

Radios -- organizational versus technical problems

From:

Jeff Cochrane <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 19 Feb 1999 12:10:11 -5

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (74 lines)

Greetings Afrik-ITes!

The good Dr. Lisse writes with regard to one of the vendors of HF
radio email services in Kampala:

> Assistance with Cost Control? They have no incentive to do that, in fact
> the have all incentives not to to.

One incentive to control costs is possible future business with
organizations such as the Namulonge research center.  If by lowering
charges by 50 per cent they can increase volume through new
customers by 100 per cent, then revenues and perhaps even profits
could very well increase for them.

My personal impression of Bushnet is that they have tried very hard
and quite sincerely to be accomodating and helpful, perhaps for just
the reason that I mention above, or perhaps in addition because they
also truly enjoy helping people communicate better.

> The only reason to charge by volume is that USAID is paying for it
> (1000$US per month, per site, imagine how many VSAT terminals you could
> lease for that)

Actually, USAID, or at least my office of USAID, is not paying for it.
That fee is payable by the research station itself, presumably from
their government allowances or from their other project funds.  But my
office made it quite clear from the start, and this is well understood by
all parties, that we will not pay monthly bills beyond the flat
maintenance fee of $50, and even that will cease after an introductory
period decided by our implementing partner, ICRAF, in Nairobi.

No, this bill is to be paid by the people who sent and received the
emails, and precisely to give them the incentive to seek actively for an
economical solution.  If they cannot pay it, and cannot find a way to
reduce charges in the future, then my prediction is that they (or the
vendor) will simply disconnect the service.

> I understand that Ebonet, in Angola, does not charge by volume.

I've heard that CyberTwiga in Dar also does not charge by volume,
and we have encouraged our partners in Uganda to look at other
providers of HF email services, though for a much broader set of
reasons, including excellent technical support locally available, they'll
likely stay in the Kampala market, or so I predict.

> It is trivial to limit the sizes of mail messages transported over the
> expensive link.

You also listed several other possible solutions.  My understanding is
that Bushnet can and indeed is quite willing to implement any or all of
them.  The issue at hand is whether the consumer is willing, which is a
much more complicated problem.

> PS: Next time, Duck! :-)-O

Thanks!  Hmm, let's see, calculating the speed of the sound of the
explosion traveling 30 meters, compared to the speed of the fragment
traveling the same distance, then human reaction time...  ;*)

Cheers!
Jeff @ Washington


-----
SETA Corporation Senior Analyst
USAID/M/IRM/CIS: Program Technology Transfer
USAID/AFR/SD/PSGE: AfricaLink
[log in to unmask]
http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk
1325 G Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005 USA
Tel +1 (202) 219-0463
Fax +1 (202) 219-0518

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