Offgrid internet access in Ghana
Bluetown is a company that deploys wifi communication networks in the most isolated areas of the planet. The energy is solar and the architecture is composed of a central satellite tower equipped with a multipoint transmitter and peripheral receivers within a perimeter of 15 km. Bluetown acts as an internet service provider and relies on local Telco networks. The targeted areas are all the world’s isolated populations (46% of the world’s population).
An autonomous infrastructure
The central Bluetown transmitter is capable of powering 200 receiving points, also hotspots. Ghana has been selected to pilot a solution combining wifi and lighting. 20 access points are installed in Asankrangwa around the bus stop, then meshed up to the village limits.
Given the density of the population, the perimeter’s hotspot coverage is insufficient. The multiplication of receiving antennas serving as hotspots is complicated since they are off-grid and would therefore imply too high a cost. It is necessary to combine wifi access with a dense autonomous energy infrastructure such as solar lighting.
A combined solution
Sunna proposes to adapt its autonomous street lamps to also feed wifi antennas. Given the controller architecture, an energy output can be dedicated to wifi. The reduced size of the Bluetown wifi antenna allows to integrate the hotspot invisibly. The public lighting thus combines two essential functions: energy autonomy and wireless networks allow to multiply the number of internet access points whatever the quality of the network and therefore everywhere. The two initial needs (lighting and communication) are combined in a single offer, in collaboration with local telecommunications players. Infrastructure investment becomes simpler, faster, more economical and involves the resource of local companies.
A pilot project
The client validated the technical feasibility for 6 months off-site and then another 6 months in Ghana. The positive result triggered the implementation of a pilot of 20 equipped street lamps in this village. 40 new Hotspot lampposts will be installed in other regions of Ghana in the course of 2020.
Which products for this field of application?