One obstacle standing in their way is the lack of access to the Internet and regional communication infrastructure. In order to connect these regions to the Internet, in January 2010, the Fraunhofer FOKUS will breathe life into the FOKUS NET4DC.
Well connected across the globe
Berlin, 26th November 2009 - Medical services, education or participation in the economy and politics are often limited for around five billion people living in developing and structurally weak areas. One obstacle standing in their way is the lack of access to the Internet and regional communication infrastructure. In order to connect these regions to the Internet, in January 2010, the Fraunhofer FOKUS will breathe life into the FOKUS NET4DC. This international centre for information and communication technologies in developing countries will, together with partners from target regions, develop and make available tailor-made IT infrastructures and communication networks.
"The support of sustainable economic concepts is a global challenge. We see our contribution in the supply of mobile commu¬nication applications and the construction of modern IT infrastructures in newly industrialising and developing countries," emphasises Prof Dr Ulrich Buller, a board member of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. This should enable services such as eHealth, eLearning, eGovernment, eCommerce and eMicrobanking and with it foster the integration of structurally weak regions into national and international markets. "By doing this, we can meet the expectations of social responsibility in the global context," says Buller.
The main goal of FOKUS NET4DC is the implementation of modern information and communication technologies in the regions concerned, to enable the sustainable access to global communication networks. Prof Dr Radu Popescu-Zeletin, the director of Fraunhofer FOKUS, instigator and initiator of the centre's FOKUS NET4DC explains, "We are accelerating research and development projects which factor in regional demands such as rough environmental conditions, irregular power supply or the available radio wave spectrums." The tailor-made communications and information solutions made in this way will be used by people who live in sparsely-populated areas and hardly speak any English.
Connected via mesh net
Fraunhofer FOKUS is developing largely intermeshed radio networks for this purpose. Until now, these ad-hoc networks could only cover small areas. Robust technologies and easy operation are in the forefront of the developers' minds. Single nodes - these are radio routers - on the network will automatically connect to neighbouring nodes. If the pathway becomes congested or if one specific compo¬nent fails, the system reacts independently; that is, without human input. Based on these technologies, the communication networks should be able to achieve the level of quality already familiar to Europeans.
In order to meet the technological as well as socio-economic challenges, alongside the IT know-how of Fraunhofer FOKUS, the expertise from various fields of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is also needed. FOKUS NET4DC seeks to pool the relevant competencies; from appropriate materials and wireless communication infra¬structures to alternative energy sources and new network technologies.
The Fraunhofer experts thus wish to adopt a holistic approach and offer an open platform: on the ground, FOKUS NET4DC is looking for the cooperation of established partners such as organisations, research facilities or ventures - it is here that the expertise of different players comes together. "In addition, we will develop and make test and evaluation environments available in order to exactly tailor the capabilities and user-friendliness of the different tech¬nologies and services to the requirements of each target region", emphasises Popescu-Zeletin.
Provision in Zambia
One of the first projects of FOKUS NET4DC is the connection of the Ubuntu Campus, a remote settlement near the village of Macha in the Southern Province of Zambia. Specialists used directional radio in order to connect this settlement to pre-existing satellite technology in Macha. An affordable WLAN network for the primary school, a schooling centre and the office building of the local water board was also ensured by this provision. In addition to this, the experts from Fraunhofer FOKUS want to test, with the help of the network, how reliable the technology is, what the life expectancy is likely to be and how high the maintenance requirements will be given the existing climate conditions.
Analyses show that the inhabitants enjoy using the network for personal communication, the procurement of information as well as educational purposes. For the construction of this infrastructure, FOKUS NET4DC is working hand in hand with a firm from the region, which, amongst other things, runs a small Internet cafe. Alongside this service, which is now being extended to further regions in Zambia, there are also plans to connect small medical stations to the Internet in order to improve the provision of medical services.
About Fraunhofer FOKUSThe Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, Fraunhofer FOKUS for short, is a Berlin-based research facility devoted to studying and developing communication and information technologies. In particular, it specializes in multi-domain networks and interoperable, user-centered solutions.
With more than 20 years experience, Fraunhofer FOKUS is an important IT research partner for the telecommunications sector, the automobile industry, media services, and public administrations. It frequently cooperates with governmental agencies and software companies to create need-oriented e-government solutions and is a leading collaborator in projects funded by the European Union as well as by national-level sponsors.
Eva Sittig | idw
Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences