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TT5.2 - Sustainable Business Model

Task Title Sustainable Business Model
Lead partner NIMR
Leader Felix Sukums
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The main objective is to establish a sustainable business model for DigI


Deliverables in TT5.2 - Sustainable Business Model

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Basis of sustainable business model

The basis of the sustainable business operation is the Partnership for Digital Access.

Operation through Partnership


The project seeks for a partner operating the infrastructure. In case of an existing infrastructure, we would like to connect to the IP connection, and establish a Wifi distribution antenna and a network controller on the tower. If a village is not connected, we suggest to share the infrastructure costs for connecting the village, being either fibre, radio backbone, or a satellite link. l In case of a radio backbone, one might need to consider an autonomous repeater.

Common in both case would be the link from the village tower towards the health spot. Our piloted solution consists of an autonomous hot-spot, powered by a solar panel, and providing access to basic information (InfoInternet), being text, pictures and local video.

We primarily would like to get in partnership with an operator, here called OperatorX. We assume that OperatorX has a license to provide Internet (ISP), and is willing to share the costs of connecting the village. The distribution of responsibilities would in principle have the following items:

  • OperatorX: Establishing the IP backbone to the village. The Basic Internet Foundation (BasicInternet) has technology providers who can provide equipment like backbone antennas, solar panels, batteries.
  • OperatorX is in position of the license and takes the communication with the local and national authorities.
  • OperatorX provides a place on the tower for the Wifi distribution and the local network control centre (NCC). The NCC might be located either on the tower or in the control room, and has a power requirement of less than 25 W.
  • BasicInternet (or OperatorX) provides the local hotspot. See more details on the hot-spot infrastructure based on the pilot installation at Kjeller
  • BasicInternet provides the free access to text and pictures, as well as to the local information server (InfoInternet). The free access to text and pictures will not exceed 2,5% of the available backbone bandwidth, thus backbone costs will be neglectable.
  • BasicInternet provies the accounting for the IP infrastructure, being the time- and/or amount-based accounting, voucher generation and related topics. Typical scenarios are 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month access, 100, 500 MByte, 1 GByte data volume, or any combination of time an data volume.

Sustainability of operation is envisaged such that OperatorX provides a maximum of 2,5% of the available bandwidth, and BasicInternet providers the accounting functionality for the IP-network. Details of such an arrangement are basis for negotiations.

Operation by the Basic Internet Foundation

In case we don't find an operator, the Project has to run the infrastructure. However, in this case several issues have to be addressed

  • License or license exempt. Our infrastructure is based on operation in the licence exempt band of 2.4 and 5.x GHz, the so-called industrial, scientific and medical (ISM)-bands. Operations in these bands don't require a license.
    However, the local authorities, e.g. Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), should be contacted to clarify
  • License as Internet Service Provider (ISP). Country-specific regulations are most probably in place for ISPs. These regulations can either be linked to the form of the company, or the transmission of operation. In order to operate in a country, we will always seek for local partnership with an ISP. However, if only health or educational content is provided, the Basic Internet Foundation might be able to negotiate directly with the government.