Wireless mesh networks in Somaliland

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Wireless Networking in the Developing World

  • Laura, Leon, Nasma, jenny, two other ladies joined later
  • Mobile phone healthcvare app in Nepal
  • Mesh networks for small autonomous communities
  • Somaliland has difficult, rocky terrain - no fiber coming in to the country, and
  • Where do fiber lines come in?
  • worked at a boarding school
  • setting up local services, such as OwnCloud (for file sharing), a wiki and a file server
  • little prior knowledge necessary
  • Used Commotion software from the Open Tech Institute


  • How to support remote open source projects?
    • Network went down when water was accidentally poured into a generator and fried all of the devices
    • device issues - falling down from wind, power fluctuating
    • Hardest thing was not the software but rather the hardware and keeping devices powered
    • reallyly important to document well and train people to maintain it
    • Now training this teacher remotely
    • openflow - creating a script that auto-backs up the server and monitors power
      • supply chain issues - building in places where the materials aren't available
    • Had a script that would reset the router

Building a mesh network in rural somaliland [link]

  • Getting through concrete walls in not easy
  • The more devices, the better
  • Point-to-point links
  • $500 of funding from OTI for this small network
    • 4 picostations (omnidirectional), 2 point-to-point links
  • Only 2 service providers - one by a corrupt bank
  • Leon doing a project in Nepal, a mobile app that provides health answers for women with limited access to health resources, works over SMS
  • OpenBTS - open source DIY cellular networks
  • Mesh networks in America
  • friendly ISPs that allow sharing in their TOS
  • suggesting agile, small groups
  • local network shared among neighbors
  • mobile money
    • zaad

Link dump