[Cu-wireless] [jgrimes@grimesonline.com: [BAWUG] Wireless Internet "on the bus"]

David Young dyoung at ojctech.com
Fri Sep 27 13:55:05 CDT 2002

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X-Original-Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 08:39:27 -0700
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 08:39:27 -0700

Wireless Internet Goes on the Road

By Seema Singh, Contributing Editor

Databus concept from India¹s Media Lab Asia is an actual bus

1 September 2002‹For years, authorities in developing countries have sought
to bring the Internet to remote locations. Now, Indian engineers with the
recently established Media Lab Asia (MLAsia) are preparing to install
wireless Internet transceivers on buses crisscrossing rural India, a project
that will provide villagers with connectivity. Called PostNet, it is built
around the so-called Wi-Fi wireless broadband Internet standard (IEEE
802.11b). The idea is to ensure service, analogous to the postal system¹s,
at least a few times a day at a nominal cost.

MLAsia (Mumbai) is a joint venture between the Indian government and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge), <snip>
What MLAsia hopes to do is bring a proprietary wireless mesh routing
technology currently being developed at the MIT Media Lab to India. It¹s a
low-cost, low-power networking technology that allows devices to talk to
each other wirelessly. <snip>

A bus-mounted databus
MLAsia proposes to mass-produce inexpensive radio transceivers, at about US
$100 each, and place them on inter-village buses. These transceivers,
installed on the roof, will run on batteries already in the bus and will
have a reach of up to about 1000 meters. Signals will travel from bus to bus
until they reach a base station that connects to the Internet.

Using these traveling transceivers, Internet service providers in urban
areas will be able to extend services to rural people without any extra
investment. People will be able to get the radio signal through their
devices whenever the "connection bus" is in the vicinity. By spending $5
million­$10 million, "we can take broadband to every village in the country
in about a year or two,"...
One of the challenges facing MLAsia researchers is the arduous task of
remodeling all the applications that will run on the devices. The goal is to
make sure the applications function both in connected and disconnected modes
and are able to exchange data seamlessly whenever the broadband connection
is available.

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David Young             OJC Technologies
dyoung at ojctech.com      Engineering from the Right Brain
                        Urbana, IL * (217) 278-3933

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