Notes from the I International Workshop on Research in ICT for Human Development, at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and held in Fuenlabrada, Spain, on May 13th and 14th, 2010. More notes on this event: ict4hd10.
Ermanno Pietrosémoli: The ICTP-UNESCO Wireless Training Kit
The ICTP-UNESCO Wireless Training Kit has been approved by the International Telecommunication Union and it is aimed at training people in developing countries so that they can install and manage wireless technologies. It is developed by Rob Flickenger, Carlo Fonda, Marco Zennaro, Ermanno Pietrosémoli and S.M. Radicella.
Advantages of wireless networks:
- Cost-effective ways to provide connectivity where other usual technologies — e.g. fibre — are difficult to deploy.
- Operate in a wave spectrum that is free in most countries.
- Interference issues are less severe in rural areas, where there actually is less supply of telecommunication solutions.
WiFi was designed for short distances,, but with some firmware modifications, it can be used in longer distances, achieving a maximum of 382 km.
One of the main advantages of WiFi-based technologies is that they can be managed and maintained by the local communities themselves.
The training kit includes all the devices and materials needed to run a training workshop on wireless networks. It also includes electronic books, support materials (slides, guides, exercises), WiFi devices, antennas and other equipment to run a full training course.
The cost of the kit was initially 1,000€, but all the “software” (including learning materials) is freely available on the net. And the hardware can be built and/or distributed by many agents, hence the cost can even be reduced.
- Repository with open materials related to training on wireless networks: WirelessU.org.
- Book: Flickenger, R., Aichele, C. E., Fonda, C., Forster, J., Howard, I., Krag, T. & Zennaro, M. (2006). Wireless Networking in the Developing World. Morrisville: Limehouse Book Sprint Team.
Valentín Villarroel: who is the toolkit aimed at? Ermanno Pietrosémoli: especially trainers of trainers. On the other hand, it is also aimed at communities that already have some basic structure and can dedicate a person to these matters.