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Wireless Africa

Wireless Africa is about researching ways and means to develop sustainable information and communications technology in developing countries. The focus is to address the challenges of closing the digital divide that exists within and between developing countries.

Research within Wireless Africa follows two distinct but related tracks. The first component is social research which is investigating how a number of projects in communities around South Africa, Angola and Mozambique are able to create community owned wireless infrastructure that is sustainable.

This research uses outcomes mapping to closely monitor the progress made by these projects towards the goal of self-sustainable community owned communication technology. Most of these projects are specifically looking at applications in health, education and related service delivery areas.

The second component of wireless Africa is looking at ways in which technology barriers can be removed or minimized to enable bottom-up creation of wireless access infrastructure. The group is performing research in the areas of mesh networking, low cost voice/messaging devices, low cost access points and antennas, and network security. Mesh networking research is particularly interesting in that a community can grow a wireless network in an ad-hoc manner without the need for large capital investment in radio masts. Two experimental test bed mesh networks have been installed in Pretoria and Mpumalanga and are continually increasing in size to understand issues such as scalability and quality of service.

Please visit our pages to see what Wireless Africa does, learn about the research we conduct and the test bed network we have implemented. Read about our First Mile First Inch project .

  Contact: Kobus Roux +27 12 841 4460
Copyright © Meraka Institute 2007
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