Wireless data transmission in The Andes: networking Merida State.
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Wireless data transmission in The Andes: networking Merida State (Pietrosemoli, Ermanno) Abstract The city of Merida, in the northern Andes, is home to a 200-year-old university that has shown a strong commitment to networking, as witnessed by the deployment of a 100 Mbps TDM fiber optic data and voice network, with a 155 Mbps ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) overlay and by the organization of three Latin American Networking Schools over the past six years. The desire to extend the benefits of Internet access to the surrounding communities was curtailed by the difficult terrain and limitations of the telephony infrastructure. These challenges were met by means of radio technologies, beginning with packet radio in the VHF (very high frequency) and UHF (ultra high frequency) bands, that was soon made obsolete by the bandwidth requirements of Web access, and venturing into higher speeds made feasible by microwaves, using both spread spectrum and narrowband solutions. The state-of-the-art network currently being deployed allows for 10 Mbps full duplex data transmission and spans a mountainous region some 200 by 100 km, from sea level to 5000 m. Innovative multisectorial antennas make for efficient use of the 6 MHz per channel spectrum, while allowing video conference and IP (Internet protocol) telephony applications. Schools, hospitals, libraries, and community centers are the main target for connectivity, but several government agencies are now able to interact with citizens with unheard-of efficiency, prompting for profound social changes. This paper addresses the technical and cultural hurdles that had to be overcome to bring the project to fruition. Paper presentado en: INET'99, http://www.isoc.org/inet99/