Update On Makerere University Wireless Hotspots Project

The wireless hot-spots project is now progressing well after experiencing a few hiccups along the way (delayed approvals from authorities).We had envisaged that the mast would be operational by this time of year which has obviously not happened due to the aforementioned delays.

Some of you may have seen the mast going up just behind the main Library.The mast will be 45 meters in height and will cover approximately half of the main campus with usable WiFi signal strength.Please note that the wireless signal may not be accessible from inside buildings furthest from the covered area (at the edge of the signal range/radius).

In future,another mast will be erected upon availability of funds to cover the other half of main campus with wireless signal to permit access to ICT and online educational resources anywhere anytime for authorized Mak-users on main campus.

The director DICTS (Mr.Kitumba Frank),is currently engaging various telecom service providers to take advantage of this opportunity to boost the poor GSM signal strength at Makerere which will enable users make clearer calls anywhere on main campus.

Some staff members have pointed out that satellite campuses (Jinja,Fort-portal,MUARIK) are not being taken care of which is not true.The Jinja and Fort-portal campuses,are not part of the physical Makerere university network and are connected to other service providers for internet access (found to be the most economically viable solution at present and therefore have access to internet resources),while MUARIK is part of the Makerere University network (both physically via optical fibre and logically).Therefore,staff and students at these campuses do have access to internet resources even though it's not through wireless.

Improving wireless access is going to increase the number of connections to the Mak-network which will inevitably increase the strain on the already limited bandwidth resource and this is a challenge we will have to cope with for some time.However we are hopeful that bandwidth prices will continue to drop as RENU gets more research and higher educational institutions on it's network which will increase our bandwidth for the same amount of money paid.

The University purchased International Bandwidth has risen from 68 Megabits per second [Mbps] in 2012 to 170 Mbps in 2014 to 300 Mbps 2015 and now 800 Mbps since mid-year 2016.

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