Long Range Wireless System
Extending the coverage for rural connectivity.
A research initiative to reach the unreachable in remote rural. It extends the coverage of the Telecentre to create a larger impact on bridging the digital divide investment. The modular design and its power self-sustainability have given it advantages to survive better in rural deployment.
Concept of Long Range Wireless System
We proposed to innovate the multi-hop wireless relay system to create a relatively long range wireless system so that nearby rural villages can be linked together to share the limited communication gateway available only at the specific location of the rural area, for example, the Rural Telecentre. By being able to extend the connectivity of network to nearby villages, the impact and usefulness of the Rural Telecentre can be widened and benefiting a larger scale of the community.
Cost Effective and Energy Efficient
The main design and innovation of the long-range wireless system for connectivity will be focused on to achieve greater affordability for initial deployment as well as low in running cost. Ideally, the system could be maintained and operated by the locals where the entire system can be self-sustained by the rural community themselves.
Wireless technology has been tuned for maximum coverage as well as for greater energy efficiency so that the entire system is friendly to renewable energy sources such as solar power. The system also has to strike a balance in its physical size and performance so that the transportation of such system can be friendly to human-power transporter cutting through the jungle trails during system deployment.
Successful Pilot Implementation in Bario, Sarawak.
Rural environment introduces great challenges to technology deployment. Most of the time, the most effective way is to deploy tall communication tower for the establishment of wireless communication to the end users. Owing to such tower deployment requires a certain economy scale in order to justify the high initial investment, many of the rural communities do not produce sufficient economy scale to justify the deployment of commercial grade communication tower and system. This has indirectly created a digital divide that does not favor the development of rural communities with small population size.
The pilot deployment of the system has been conducted in Bario, Sarawak since 2009 and further expanded to connecting more villages until 2011. The pilot deployment was seed funded by MOSTI ScienceFund and later expanded by DAGS.