The ‘Barefoot Wireless Engineers’ course has been developed as part of the collaborative advanced ICT course development project of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
To bring in last mile connectivity for underserved rural and semi-rural areas in India, line-of-sight wireless connectivity is deployed by using low-cost Wireless equipment and the unlicensed frequency spectrum of 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz range to create community-operated wireless networks. To further empower the local community, the community members need to be trained in setting up wireless networks themselves.
This course is intended for community members, especially in rural areas of India, who can set up last-mile Internet connectivity for their communities. These members may not have a formal degree in technical areas such as networking or engineering.
Skills needed to complete this course:
- Basic knowledge of English
- Using the Internet for Google search or seeing videos
- Installing apps on a mobile phone
- Using a computer
- Downloading and installing software on a computer
- Understanding of common concepts such as the Internet, network, mobile services etc.
Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
- Explain the benefits of a wireless network in bringing connectivity to rural areas.
- Conduct a location survey before setting up a wireless network.
- Determine an optical line-of-sight between two points without interference.
- Select equipment that is suitable for the planned wireless network.
- Prepare the required agreements and approvals before installing the wireless network.
- Install the primary infrastructure for a wireless network.
- Install power backup for the wireless network.
- Establish maintenance procedures for the wireless network.