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9th EAI International Conference on e‐Infrastructure and e‐Services for Developing Countries

December 11–12, 2017 | Lagos, Nigeria

AWCS 2017

International Workshop on Affordable Wireless Connectivity Solutions

Challenges, solutions and business case for Low Cost Wireless Connectivity Solutions

 

Introduction

Significant efforts have been made by technology companies and development agencies to deliver cost efficient Internet access to the developing areas. There has been a significant growth of connectivity solutions in Africa especially via mobile connectivity. However most of these services are concentrated around urban areas and city centres. This creates a gap between quality of life in rural and urbans areas in these regions. The challenges range from technical, to policy to business oriented. These may include deploying such technologies at a reasonable price for end users living in rural areas, lack of basic infrastructure in these areas, skilled labor, lack of stable power supply and security of installations. Several technologies and concepts are addressing these points but majority don’t yield a viable business case in rural areas.

The provision of broadband connectivity in rural areas is perhaps the most relevant tool for digital inclusion in underdeveloped and developing regions. Provision of cost effective solution in areas where legacy operators do not have a good business model of deploying existing wireless infrastructure is required. An Open Source approaches such as WiBACK and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) initiatives would be considered.

This approach includes the use of open source or programmable hardware as well as open source software components. The cost margins can be significantly reduced by using software defined wireless networks running on commodity off the shelf hardware. To make this goal a reality, an inclusive innovation scheme is proposed to ensure local end users are responsible for manufacturing, assembly, maintenance, repair and optimizing the network based on locally relevant services and applications.

Technical Issues Addressed
 
There exists fibre connections and LTE networks in some parts of the city centre and urban areas. There is however poor or no connectivity in rural areas few kilometers away from major city centers. Population density outside the city centre is low which means setting up a new site may not be a viable option for service providers expecting a return on investment. A significant factor includes the unavailability of stable power supply. 
What is thus required are low cost, low power solutions that are flexible to meet the requirements of specific areas. This includes solar powered nodes, low cost and flexible backhaul solutions from the closest urban area to the unconnected regions. Another major cost component is cost of spectrum license. Solutions provided should be modular and can be adapted to also operate over both licensed and unlicensed bands. This will require self-configuration and self-optimization functionalities. The role of regulatory policy to encourage innovative ICT solutions should not be ignored. 
 
The objective of this workshop is to discuss these challenges and highlight possible solution both from a technical and business perspective. Furthermore, the workshop and tutorial sessions will provide information on global initiatives like WiBACK and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) in addressing these challenges.
 
Workshop Scope
 
The goal of this workshop is to demonstrate and develop hands on expertise in tackling solutions identified and discussed at the Africomm 2017 conference. This will be centered on e-Infrastructure and e-services for developing countries. Most of these solutions have been discussed in literature but a very few have gained global adoption. The workshop scope will thus have three main themes: 
- Challenges - Technical solutions - Business Case 
Invited tutorials should fall under any of these three themes with the technical solutions limited to demos and hands on training for participants. There will be an Award for the best Demo as well as a brain storming session on international collaboration project for selected participants. A joint position paper will be prepared at the end of the workshop. 
Workshop Call
 
For Tutorials/Demos Submitted tutorials should focus on challenges experienced by both service providers and end users. Lessons learned as regards deploying ICT solutions in emerging countries will be entertained. Business cases by Entrepreneurs and service providers are also welcome. There will be a session for technical demos on initial efforts by students and startups.
The specific areas for the demos are not limited to the following areas: 
Sustainable ICT development in emerging regions
Energy efficient solutions based on IoT
E-learning platform and solutions
Flexible wireless network architectures
LoRa based IoT solutions for Smart City
Mobile based Smart farming solutions
Predictive analysis for self optimising wireless networks
Low cost connectivity solutions and applications for public transport services
​Submission should be made via email to osianoh.glenn.aliu@fit.fraunhofer.de  
Workshop Chair:
Dr. Osianoh Glenn Aliu
 
Workshop Co- Chair:
Dr Mathias Kretschmer
 
Intended Audience 
PhD and MSc. Students
Final year BSc students
Internet Service Providers
Telecommunication Operators
Technology Entrepreneurs
Researchers in Information and Communication Technologies 
 
Workshop Organising Committee
Dr. Osianoh Glenn Aliu (Fraunhofer FIT, Germany) 
Dr. Mathias Kretschmer (Fraunhofer FIT, Germany) 
Dr. Kashif Ali (Telecom Infra Project, USA) 
Dr. Abiodun Gbenga-Ilori - (University of Lagos, Nigeria) 

Important deadlines

 

Submission

15 AUGUST 2017

Notification

30 AUGUST 2017

Camera-ready submission

30 OCTOBER 2017

Conference takes place

11-12 DECEMBER 2017

 

Submission Guidelines and Paper Submission:
  • Please check the submission guidelines here: http://africommconference.org/2017/show/initial-submission
  • All the papers should be in English and formatted according to the Authors Kit
  • AWCS papers should be submitted into 'AWCS track" in confy
 
Publications
Accepted papers will be published in Springer's LNICST series and will appear in the SpringerLink, one of the largest digital libraries online that covers a variety of scientific disciplines, as well as in the EAI's own EU Digital Library (EUDL). LNICST volumes are submitted for inclusion to leading indexing services, including DBLP, Google Scholar, ISI Proceedings, EI Engineering Index, CrossRef, Scopus.