International Wireless Summit 2005

International Wireless Summit 2005, Aalborg, Denmark

The international wireless summit has just kicked off and I have the privilege of being amongst some of the greatest think-tanks in the wireless arena.

The aim of the IWS is to offer a platform for establishing exchanges of information between universities, industry and science parks. The next summit will be in 2008 in Helsinki, Finland.

International Wireless Symposium aims to exchange research information. 450 papers to be presented on “hot topics”.

Prof. Ramjee Prasad giving introductory speech.

Prof. Ramjee Prasad predicts that the future of wireless comms will be based on single layer technology, not quite sure what is meant by this though.

“Personal Networks are going to be of major importance in future business…”

wild_west_mesh

One of the projects that are being undertaken at work that has caught my personal interest is the “Community Owned Information Networks” project(See Project Website and COIN Blog). The aim of the project is to research the use of wireless communication technology, usually used in typical 1st world environments such as offices or neighbourhood networks, in a 3rd world, African context. Networks have been set up in rural villages, linking clinics to hospitals and encouraging rural communities to connect themselves to the networks, by demonstrating the use of alternative, cheaper equipment such as cantenna’s. As part of the research an outdoor mesh network was setup in Pretoria and findings form this network are continuously passed back to the rural implementations. Furthermore, a 50 node, indoor network is being setup to further encourage research into mesh networking, including protocol level research.

Although I’m not currently active in the project, I have been keeping up with developments and while scanning the activity around Mesh networking in South Africa, came accross the Johannesburg Areas Wireless users Group, JAWUG.I thus saw an opportunity to experiment with the technology and join the revolution by setting up my own node as well as an opportunity to contribute findings between the CSIR and JAWUG networks. Its a real pity that there isnt any communication/collaboration between the two groups, because of somewhat irresponsible/ childish? ramblings of a core JAWUG member, all of whose critisms are not totally unfounded, but are mostly uninformed. The fact is that the Meraka insitute is only a few months old, taking its name from the CSIR’s Open Source Center, which was merged into the new institute. Meraka’s interests incorporate ICT’s in general, of which connectivity is one theme in pool of many including Human Language Technology, Advanced Computing and Accessibilty. The research into mesh networking is one sub-project within the Wireless Africa project, which itself falls into the connectivty theme.

Afer communicating with nearby interested parties, which I found through the JAWUG and NodeDB websites , buying and setting up equipment, I finally found myself connected…

The following is a network diagram, generated by a routing protocol (OLSR) used on my mesh node.