Embedded Asterisk in Nigeria

I am really interested in using open hardware and software to help people in the developing world. A telephone call should be a human right, not a privilege of people living in wealthy countries.

Over the past year I have been working with Alberto and Louise from IT 46 on ways to use the IP04 Embedded Asterisk IP-PBX in developing countries. Alberto and Louise travel all over the world helping communities deploy technologies such as long distance Wifi and VOIP, via training and deployment activities.

IT 46 have been working with the Fantsuam Foundation Community Wireless Network located in Kafanchan, about 100 km Northeast of Abuja, Nigeria. This area is a poorly connected area in terms of fixed telephony and Internet. There is no fixed telephony available and the Fantsuam Foundation is the only Internet Service Provider. In February, Alberto and Louise returned to Fantsuam and (among other things) installed an IP04.

Field deployment is really important for Free Telephony development. It uncovers all sorts of problems that I just don’t see in my normal testing, for example noises in FXS ports that seem related to generator driver power supplies/certain telephones, and module detection issues when the IP04 was covered in 10mm of dust! Alberto and Louise have been very patient – Alberto often tells me how much he has been “loving me” after a day chasing IP04 configuration problems while sick with food-poisoning!

The IP04 has been deployed at Fantsuam for about a month now, and is running fine. Alberto has been able to remotely manage it via a VSAT Internet link from around the world.

Here are some photos that tell the story:

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4 thoughts on “Embedded Asterisk in Nigeria”

  1. Hi David,

    Can you describe how this was deployed?

    What distances were involved?

    Is this site linked to other sites, and how?

    What is typically used as infrastructure cabling in a deployment like this?

  2. Hi Kim,

    The deployment was part of a training that was conducted by IT46 in Fantsuam. The PBX is connected to the VSAT system running IAX2 protocol that handles better the NAT situation. The unit is hosting four FXS ports to connect four local extensions. Extensions are in the NOC, Main house of the NGO, administration and reception.

    The cable runs for as long 100 meters without major problems. The site is linked to a central PBX in Sweden (IT46 office) at moment.

    The major issue were the analog phones that were bought locally as a buzzy sound is present in one model. Something to consider… for future deployments.

  3. Good day David,
    I was just going through Asteriks installations in Nigeria and found your works!!
    Thanks so much. I am a Nigerian from Lagos but i research at Waseda Graduate School of Global Information and Telecomms in Japan.
    I am very much in doing some work with Asterisks and powering it up with solar modules for poor locations.
    Can you be of any guidance in this regard based on the experience from Alberto and Louise project in Nigeria.
    Thank You

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