VoIP (Voice over IP) over mesh networks could be a potential solution to the high cost of making phone calls in most parts of Africa. The Village Telco (VT) is an easy to use and scalable VoIP over meshed WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) telephone infrastructure. It uses a mesh network of mesh potatoes to form a peer-to-peer network to relay telephone calls without landlines or cell phone towers. This paper discusses the Village Telco infrastructure, how it addresses the numerous difficulties associated with wireless mesh networks, and its efficient deployment for VoIP services in some communities around the globe. The paper also presents the architecture and functions of a mesh potato and a novel combined analog telephone adapter (ATA) and WiFi access point that routes calls. Lastly, the paper presents the results of preliminary tests that have been conducted on a mesh potato. The preliminary results indicate very good performance and user acceptance of the mesh potatoes. The results proved that the infrastructure is deployable in severe and under-resourced environments as a means to make cheap phone calls and render Internet and IP-based services. As a result, the VT project contributes to bridging the digital divide in developing areas.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|