Big project delivers low-cost broadband to rural areas

19 January 2021

Masoro, in the northern province of Rulindo in Rwanda, has a population of 21,000.  And it was among the first in a big project to deliver low-cost broadband services to schools, healthcare facilities and community centres in rural areas of Rwanda and Tanzania.

The project was carried out by CableFree; Wireless Excellence is the designer and manufacturer of CableFree products.

It reports that it installed high gain 4G CPE devices high up on poles to receive strong signals from the nearest cell tower even when mobile devices cannot connect at ground level. CableFree says the high gain and latest-generation chipsets in the CPEs provide strong signals with stable throughput and high capacity, compared to the inherently low gain of mobile handsets.

Inside the community centre at Masoro, where no Cat5 cabling was assumed, Mesh Wi-Fi was installed as the best method to connect rooms and buildings at each location.

The company says a further request was to reduce the daily data usage and hence cost to the operator.  At no extra cost CableFree implemented local file storage/server capability to the Wi-Fi Mesh radios by adding a USB thumb drive to most to allow content to be cached locally.

For example, teachers in each of the schools can download large files, presentations and multimedia content once, and have a cached local copy for the students to access as needed. 

CableFree says that, working with local partners, it has delivered low cost, reliable and fast internet to aid education, healthcare provision and community services in regions where there was previously no broadband and cell coverage almost non-existent. n