Documentation of the Technology used by Basic Internet
- 1 Documentation of the Technology used by Basic Internet
- 2 Selection of Mikrotik devices
- 3 Extending the Basic Internet Network
- 4 Satellite provision
- 5 Radio-link
- 6 Mobile Networks
- 7 Power over Ethernet (PoE)
- 8 Evolution from current networks
- based on MikroTik equipment
- for apps and Web pages, see BasicInternet:White_List
The BasicInternet infrastructure consists of a central core network, being located at UNIK. The main functionality is the accounting and the provision of access rights for the various networks.
The picture below shows an example of the local core infrastructure, here with a split of voucher traffic and BasicInternet traffic, each being served by one Mikrotik device.
Selection of Mikrotik devices
Comparing the RB1100AHx2 and the RB960PGS-PB (by Iñaki May2017). Aspects to consider
- power consumption
- the amount of traffic/users we want to cover on a specific area and
- costs, considering CAPEX and OPEX.
- I'm not considering whether the equipment needs to be indoor or outdoor.
When considering the amount of traffic/users, RB1100AHx2 model is the winner.
- First, because of the license level, which in this case is 6 (the highest one) compared to license level 4 in case of RB960PGS-PB. In the following page there is a table comparing different license numbers: https://wiki.mikrotik.com/index.php?title=Manual:License#License_Levels
- Second, because of the hardware capacity. RB1100AHx2 model is able to handle between 2 to 4 times more traffic than the RB960PGS-PB.
- If we are thinking on a installation where the idea is to place a server with content such as videos... then I would go for a RB1100AHx2, otherwise the RB960PGS-PB is a good option.
- Regarding the power consumption and outdoor enclosure the RB960PGS-PB (max 9W) model is more convenient than RB1100AHx2 (max. does not specify but have to be quite high due to the fans).
- If the main driver is the energy consumption and/or cost, then definitely RB960PGS-PB model is the winner.
Server for both routing and content
see discussion on DigI_talk:TI1.2
Extending the Basic Internet Network
note on use of ASA: each simple router will do the job, need to be adapted based on the capacity to handle
Option 1: DHCP for each sub-network
Provide each University (or even parts of a University) with an own sub-network.
- Requires a path from Mikrotik to one ASA
ASA providing different DHCP, f. eks. 172.16.x.x for University A, and 172.16.x.x for University B
- class B: 172.16.x.x (16 bit for networks, 16 bits for end network - max 65000 users per network)
- example: need for 5.000 IP addresses = 13 bits for end users, rest for network (20.000 students, 5.000 every day)
- class A: 10.x.y.z/8 - 8 bit for the network, 24 bits for the end users (> 2million end users)
- class C: 192.168.1.x/24 - 24 bits for network, and 8 bits for end devices (255 devices)
- new: supports also classless...
Option 2: Tunnel from each ASA
Central infrastructure with one ASA
- each site has an own ASA providing DHCP
- on-site ASA has a VPN back to the central ASA
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.
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.
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.
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|
The radio link configuration is similar to the satellite configuration, where the satellite link is replaced by a radio link.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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)
Power over Ethernet (PoE)
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is defined by two standards:
- IEEE 802.3af
- IEEE 802.3at
The first one, 802.3af, is the first published standard, and the second one, 802.3at, also known as PoE+ or PoE plus, is an evolution of the first which provides more power.
On the other hand, MikroTik does not follow those standards even if it says its devices are PoE capable. The input voltage range is different and thus, it offers some additional products to transform any standard PoE source into a compatible input.
The following table describes the two IEEE standards and some MikroTik PoE speficifations:
|IEEE 802.3at||IEEE 802.3af|
| Voltage range
at end device
| Voltage range at
|-|| 24V power
| 24V power
| Power at end
| Power at
|Cat5 cable||Cat3 or Cat5|
|Notes||Passive PoE||Passive PoE||Passive PoE|
MikroTik has a well explained wiki page with a complete description about Solar Power.
Evolution from current networks
When you would like to help us in providing your own Basic Internet Wifi link, do as follows:
- If you just want to provide free Basic Internet, create an SSID "BasicInternet" and redirect all traffic to our IP address: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx Note: We will then filter the Opera Mini traffic, and ignore all other traffic.
- If you would like to include the voucher-based access, please get in contact with us and we will provide you with a router OS board.
- Note: we consider to open up for third party access to our infrastructure, but have not yet established the procedures.