Wireless meshed networks in rural setting for telephony

By Atkinson Sapala ( Honors completed 2013)

Principal Supervisor : Mr. Peter Gallert, Namibia University of Science and Technology

In this project we explored Mesh Potatoes (MP) devices as a technology to support a village network in the Omaheke region. The main aim was to set up and deploy the devices at Erindi-Roukambe in order to find out whether it can provide the network infrastructure for the IK management system and the free local telephony service for the village. For the purpose of this project, four Mesh Potato [MP] devices, four analogue telephones, two Nanostations [Nanos] and four solar powering units for the MPs were acquired and used. Connectivity of Mesh potatoes were tested in a lab and outdors in relation to distance inbetween nodes for quality of voice. Yet in the village, tall trees obstructed the connectivity between planned set-up points. Mesh Potatoes and Nanostations were raised 6m high up in the air, 2m more than their height in the first deployment, in attempt to reduce the obstruction from the trees. However no succesful wireless network could be set up with the existing constraints in the village. Thus a number of recommendations were made for further investigations.

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