Dili Village Telco Part 10 – End Users

End Users in Dili

After travelling to Baucau we headed back in Dili where we visited a couple of Village Telco end users. Father Agusto runs a community radio station called RTK. He has an enviable position (for Wifi) on top of hill over looking parts of Dili. So Lemi has used the site to install a Nanostation 2 and Mesh Potato. Father Agusto loves the Mesh Potato and wants to install more at other locations. It solves an interesting problem for him – cost effective interviews over the telephone. Until recently all of his phone calls for interviews had to be very short due to the expense involved with cell phone calls.

Here is the view from Radio RTK down over the Western side of Dili. The sea is about 3km away. Lemi’s house is down there near the sea – we managed to call his wife! Ping -R showed one hop from the Nanostation on the RTK mast to Lemi’s MP01. However I figure a 10dB Nanostation 2 is not directional enough at this height – it will be picking up Wifi interference from all over Dili.

Father Augusto is keen to have a MP01 installed in the school (red roof) in the foreground. At about 2 o’clock to the school just behind the trees you can just see the red roof of the Dili Catherdral. Lemi is planning a repeater site there.

We met a team from Science of Life Systems – SOLS who teach life and work skills to unemployed youth. They take very poor youth from villages, and in 6 months teach them basic English, IT and other life skills. The SOLs guys have a couple of Mesh Potatoes and use them for IT support between sites across Dili. This allows them to effectively solve IT problems at low cost – you don’t want expensive timed calls when fixing IT problems!

Here is Lemi talking with Bungleng, one of the SOLS managers in Dili:

Bungleng uses his MP01 about once an hour and wants to install more at other SOLS sites around Dili. Another very happy end user.

Developing World Patience

I find the people here are very patient. If a blackout or interference knocks out the mesh for a few hours they just take it in their stride. A partially working phone system, or one that fails every now and again due to bad power is still very useful. Especially compared to the alternatives (like no phone system or very expensive calls).

I intuitively think a phone systems must work 100% of the time and get agitated without Internet for a few hours. So these guys are teaching me another outlook and some lessons in patience.