Re: [GKD] RFI: WiMax Utilization

2005-01-11 Thread Ken DiPietro
Keith, (and all, of course)

As this is my profession, (some would say my passion) I thought it might
be appropriate for me to add to this conversation. I opted for the
in-line method to assure I address all of your questions.

On 1/7/05, Keith Birkhold [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 I was reading though the message submitted by Lee Thorn and was
 particularly interested in his use of WiMax technology. Lee could you
 exaborate on how far you have been able to progress with the WiMax
 technology? If there are any others in our group with WiMax experience,
 I would appreciate your comments.

At this time there is no formal WiMAX equipment available in the world.
The best estimates are that you will see WiMAX certified equipment
towards the end of this year. There is what is commonly being labeled as
Pre-WiMAX equipment being sold but this is not the technology being
employed by the Jhai project (unless I missed a memo)

The terms WiMAX and WiFi are used quite often but the reality is that
both of these terms are clearly defined standards for specific
technology and what we are really talking about is what is known as
License Exempt wireless.

I offer this explanation not to be pedantic but rather to explain that
using the wrong technical term is analogous to walking into an
automotive repair facility and telling them that your television isn't
working. While you may gain some sympathy, it is doubtful you will
receive the help you are seeking.

 We are in the process of building a hybrid e-school to be regionalized
 around Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.

There are several choices for connectivity in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am
pretty sure you can get a full T1 dedicated to your project for under
$500/month. If you need help with finding connectivity please contact me
off-list and I will be glad to assist you.

 Even though we do not have the last mile connectivity issues that many
 participants in the GKD group face, we too are limited in the type of
 education we employ by the lowest connectivity speed. I did some
 reasearch on using this technology to create a metropolitan area
 network, and with the potential for a 30 mile coverage radius from one
 tower a lot of headaches could be eliminated, but the feedback I
 received was that it is still several years off, and that the hardware
 is not yet small enough to fit into a notebook computer.

I am not sure where you got that information as misinformation abounds
in this field but many cities have WiFi connectivity citywide. As to
whether the hardware is small enough to fit in a notebook computer most
notebook computers come with wireless connectivity built in. Intel uses
the brand name Centrino, If you live in a city that has ubiquitous
coverage you should be able to open your notebook just about anywhere in
the city and connect.

As to the idea that you would want to set up one tower and cover 30
miles, this is not how the networks are designed. There is only so much
connectivity one can supply from one tower and the more people you try
to service from that one tower the slower service everyone receives - we
all share a connection. Instead of one central tower that everyone is
serviced from, many locations are used with each location having their
data then relayed back to one specific point (commonly referred to as
a NOC or Network Operations Center) to be forwarded to the net from

 If any of you have additional info, I would appreciate hearing from you.

I do this for a living and I can tell you this is something that I could
write volumes on. Please consider contacting me off-list if you need
further assistance in this project.


Ken DiPietro

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Re: [GKD] Should Developed Countries Subsidize the Internet for LDCs?

2005-01-11 Thread njideka
I enjoyed reading your post, Peter, as my organization, Youth for
Technology Foundation, is currently exploring some of these

The shared bandwidth problem is never as easy as it sounds to implement.
In Nigeria, this is the so-called revenue generating model of several
cybercafes - rural or urban. The problem, though, is that the primary
subscribers of the VSAT oversubscribe their service out to other
neighboring subscribers (other internet cafe's, businesses etc). At the
end of the day, the service of secondary subscribers is incredibly bad,
but the primary subscriber gets the revenue at the end of the month
regardless of the service quality.

Njideka Ugwuegbu Harry
Founder/Executive Director
Youth for Technology Foundation
phone/U.S:  425-681-3920
phone/Nigeria: 8038665843

On Thursday, January 6, 2005, Peter Baldwin wrote:

 We are working with exactly the model that Jeff Buderer described: a
 central VSAT, with the connection shared by many through a local
 wireless network. We have found that it is economically feasible on
 paper at least, and are in the process of rolling out such systems in
 several locations in Mali. The relevant constraint is how to share the
 bandwidth with enough people (meaning, efficiently) to make it
 affordable for each one without completely bogging down transfer speeds.
 (It is a classic maximization problem: maximize number of subscribers,
 subject to a bandwidth constraint.)


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Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-11 Thread Molly E. Uzoh
crawl, walk, run, fly... leap-frog ... cheetah-polevault

Happy New Year Everyone!

I have been following the rich deliberations that have been going on in
this forum. Thanks to EDC for making it possible. I have gained a lot
from it.

It might not be appropriate to dwell on the above topic amidst the
Tsunami Crisis. However as an optimistic entrepreneur and a Nigerian
American resident and doing business in the Silicon Valley, I just want
to throw in my 2 Kobo.  (Warning: This may not be commercially equal to
2 pence but may exceed it when expressed in terms of psychic income.)

What of Quantum Leap ...? Digital vs. Analog?

CK Prahalad said it all at the 2004 WRI Eradicating Poverty through
Profit Conference in San Francisco. The Western World has spent several
years in cracking the economic and ICT development codes. It would be
foolish of the developing countries to trail the same path of crawling,
walking, running over the same hurdles of trials and errors that have
already been fine tuned with clinical trials. Why crawl if there is a
template for flying which one can customize to suit one's need? There is
no need to re-invent the wheels. The reality is that many Nigerians did
not have to own, or learn how to use, a land phone before a cell phone.
To be statistically thrifty, over 1,000 functional users of cell phones
in Nigeria today (including my mother) are illiterate. I didn't have to
send my mother to school before buying a cell phone for her. Is it a
quantum leap for her or what? Let us all see what we can do in parallel
to make this project a success and make money from it as well!
OneVillage is already playing this right.

Let us be realistic. Like many countries, Nigeria has the potentials and
a track record of executing some large scale PET PROJECTS successfully
despite the fact that their system may stink and other societal needs
might be over looked. The New Federal Capital, Commonwealth Conference,
FestAC, All African Games, etc, are just a few pleasant global surprises
from Nigeria.  You know, if Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties were
waiting to perfect Alum Rock and East Palo Alto before encouraging the
establishment of industries and small businesses next door, there
probably wouldn't have been a Silicon Valley by now. Nigeria has a lot
of infrastructure and social problems but not more than India. Somebody
needs to drive the standards, package it with image rebuilding
initiatives and follow it up with training, evaluation and global
lobbying (Lobbying, NOT bribery). Yes, Nigeria needs it.
El Rufai is in order. He seems to have a good track record of getting
the job done too. However, I think David Sawe is correct. With many
necessary things lined up in parallel with construction, I have no doubt
that there could be a Silicon Valley in the Federal Capital Territory.
Why not? Nigeria has a lot of untapped wealth, indigenous intellectuals
and global sponsors/investors that can make it happen. They just have to
QUANTUM LEAP their system to make it Silicon Valley-Ready while the
constructions are going on. The government probably needs a more
elaborate version of some of those Silicon Valley Corporate Readiness
Boot-Camps that I organize.
Do people really know what Silicon Valley is? Seriously, some people get
disappointed when they find out that it is not a Technology Plaza or
Park. For those who are still interested in this topic, the article
below will show you that the Capital Territory probably has more in
common with the Prune Valley (the real name of the Valley before chips
took over) than we think. ONE DAY BEGINS A STORY. My comments are seen
after each link.

Orchards to Online: Top 10 Events That Shaped Silicon Valley
Posted in San Jose Mercury News on Thu, Feb. 28, 2002

1.   The Computer Chip -
Nigeria has several unknown inventors like Emeka Uzoh with over 98
Worldwide semiconductor patents, Emeagwali the computer guru, and

2.   San Jose Sprawl: Dutch Hamann - 
Who knows, El Rufai might be the one. He is probably not squandering the
money allotted to his office like many others.

3.   Founding of Hewlett-Packard - 
In addition to ChevronTexaco and Shell presence, HP, Intel and IBM
already have bigger eyes on Nigeria for the future. The role of small
businesses cannot be overlooked. Nnewi Nigeria, would not be what it is
today without them.

4.   Minority-Majority Ethnic Shift - 
This is already happening in Abuja in terms of ethnic and national
diversity.The climates are similar too.

5.   End of WWII: Urbanization -
Urbanization? Think of Abuja 12 years ago.


Re: [GKD] Should Developed Countries Subsidize the Internet for LDCs?

2005-01-11 Thread Medard Gabel
Dear Colleagues,

A Thought experiment / Cost/benefit question:

What would it cost (ball park estimate) to provide everyone in the world
with broad band Internet access? Or, how much would it cost to provide
everyone over the age of 10 in the developing world who is currently
without any access with personal or village based access? (Assume all
the restrictive laws, monopolies, etc. as described by Mark Summer,
below, are gone.) How much additional wealth would accrue to the world
if everyone were on the Internet? How much additional business, etc.
would result? Does this equal or dwarf the cost?

Further thoughts: Metcalf's Law that states that the value of a network
is a function of the number of nodes connected to that network. More
precisely, the value of a network rises with the square of the number of
participants. For example, if the network has two people connected to
it, and we assign a value of 1 to each participant, the network has a
value of 4. If there are 3 participants, the value of the network is 9. 
If there are 1000 participants, the value of the network is 1 million.
If the Internet has 600 million active users or nodes (as it did in
2003), and each user is given the value of 1, then the entire network
has a value of 360,000 trillion.

Hypothesis: Connecting the entire world to the Internet, making sure
that every person over the age of 10 has easy access to the Internet and
its educational resources, will not only provide those people currently
without an Internet connection access to the vast educational richness
of the Internet, but enrich the Internet as well.

(In addition to strictly educational uses, the Internet can be/would
be/is used to link farmers to markets, patients to doctors, craft
workers to customers, suppliers to corporate buyers, parents to
children, etc. All this will accelerate local and global economic
development, increase health and well being, foster communication and
economic ties between neighbors and strangers.)

Building the high-speed wireless connection devices (or wired ones where
appropriate and economical) will be a huge market and benefit (subsidy?)
to the global telecommunications industry. Manufacturing the computers
and/or Internet access devices in the developing countries where the
products will be used would provide jobs, infrastructure, and
technological expertise. Training the technicians for installation,
maintenance, and upgrading of the network and its access technology
would provide additional jobs and expertise to the developing country.
Providing electricity for Internet access through solar cells and other
decentralized energy production technologies would provide electricity
for a host of other important basic human needs devices, such as
lighting, water pumping, and refrigeration.

Medard Gabel
BigPicture Consulting
281 Bishop Hollow Road
Media, PA 19063-4339

The best way to understand a system is to understand the system it fits

On 1/5/05, Mark Summer [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 A few thoughts from me here about various points raised in this thread:
 The high costs of internet access, especially of high-speed, always on,
 Internet access in the remote and under-served areas of the world is due
 to many reasons in my experience.
 * Lower demand due to lower per capita income accounts for the higher
 operating costs of the ISP
 * Further distance to major Internet upstream providers increases the
 cost of developing and maintaining a decent upstream connection for ISPs
 in these regions
 But this is only part of the reason.


 ... when we now look at places in the developing world and examine the
 situation there it's very easy to see why costs are so high: For example
 it is not legal to use WiFi as a distribution medium in many countries
 due to legal restrictions (e.g. India). In many countries the government
 requires ISPs to obtain very costly licenses and they will only issue a
 very limited number of licenses to selected people (see Laos where the
 daughter of the prime minister runs the in-country ISP). In other places
 the government requires that it own parts of ISPs (in Thailand the
 government used to require a 50% government stake in ISPs) but of course
 that does not mean that they will be taking part in the investments to
 setup the ISPs, take a share of the profits. In other places ISPs are
 not free to buy connectivity from upstream providers they choose, rather
 they are required to buy their bandwidth at inflated costs from the
 local telcos / universities or the government.


 As long as ISPs are not free to choose their own technologies and
 business models freely Internet access will remain expensive and only
 available to a few.

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