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Solutions for low-bandwidth information provision

When providing Internet in areas with low availability or high costs the focus is on getting as much information as possible through a thin (or bandwidth limited link). Examples of such low availability links are satellite links and congested mobile networks.

Basic Internet provides solutions which optimise the information stream such that a high amount of information can be provided. This information optimization is done in the Basic Internet Core Network or through technologies of our partners, with Opera Mini being the best example of a browser providing a maximum of information given limited capacity in the network.

Satellite provision

We have two basic forms for distribution of the Basic Internet

i) Satellite Modem includes Router Board
e) Satellite Modem has an exteral Router Board

The Router Boards are preconfigured with an IP address, and thus only need to be connected to the satellite to be connected automatically to the billing centre at Kjeller.

Si1 configuration

Configuration Si1, converting the satellite link into a local Wifi link

The Si1 configuration includes

  • a satellite dish (1.2 or 1.8 m diameter)
  • a satellite modem including the router board, e.g. RouterBOARD 951Ui-2HnD
  • a wifi unit, transmitting the 2.4 GHz, e.g.

The receive antenna can typically be set up on the ground, at a wall or whatever other place is suitable.

Si5 configuration

Configuration Si5, converting the satellite link into a local distribution to 5 or more customer equipments

The Si5 configuration includes

  • a satellite dish
  • a satellite modem including the router board, e.g. xxx
  • a distribution network, consisting of directional links from a main antenna to smaller antennas at the customer site. The link is typically operating at 5 GHz, e.g. SXT Sixpack
  • a wifi unit, transmitting the 2.4 GHz, e.g. xxx

In the Si5 configuration we need to ensure free sight (no obstacles, no trees) between the main distribution antenna and the antennas at the customer site. This might require mounting the 5 GHz distribution networks on poles. Typical maximum ranges are 5-8 km for each of the distribution links.

Si20 configuration

same as Si20, but with 4 x 90 deg antennas for distribution to a total of 20 or more customer receive stations covering the whole area. The kit is SXT Sixpack- WISP Starter Kit, cost $445


  • need to identify the satellite modem with integrated Router OS
  • functionality of Router Board 4 SHPn

Power consumption of the Satellite Installations

Power consumption of Configuration Si1 [W] Si5 [W] Si20 [W]
Satellite modem (1 Mbit/s link)
5GHz distribution network
Customer equipment


The radio link configuration is similar to the satellite configuration, where the satellite link is replaced by a radio link.

Configuration R1...20

Radio link configuration, either as single point or as a distributed network

The configurations R1...20 can make use of whatever carrier providing the access to our feeding network, being it an 802.16d WiMAX link, a 5GHz Wifi link or a 24 Ghz directive link.

Mobile Networks

BRCK, the converter of Mobile networks to Wifi

We intend to use the BRCK - your backup generator for the internet, founded by Ushahidi as part of the Internet for Africa initiative.

The BRCK comes with a backup battery, and has a range of options to adopt to the application areas:

  • an external omnidirectional antenna for better reception
  • a solar panel for operating in areas without power

We are working on the BasicInternet software extension to adapt the BRCK to our needs.

MikroTik + USB modem

Another option to have Internet access through mobile networks is by combining a USB capable MikroTik router together with a USB modem.

In the following link several MikroTik compatible USB modems are listed:

Selection criteria:

  1. If available and compatible 4G modem
    • The only modem without any problem and supported by MikroTik v5.25 is BandRich C501. <-- Unfortunately is out of stock everywhere.
  2. Else 3G modem
    • There are not many 3G modems available in Norway and fully supported by MikroTik
    • Not any 21Mbps modems at all
    • The only available modem is the Huawei E173 (7.2Mbps)