While technological development is witnessed at great length in the urban areas; rural areas are not receiving the same privileges.
Long term evolution-rural wireless architecture model (LTE-RWAM) is a technological research that is meant to bring rural areas to the same level as urban areas technology-wise.
LTE RWAM is the first scientific research conducted under the Centre of Excellence (COE) at Unam.
COE was launched in February 2011 with the aim of focusing on scientific research striving to achieve excellence in telecommunication and related ICTs and was sponsored by Telecom Namibia.
Dr Jameson Mbale, senior lecturer at the Department of Computer Science at Unam came up with the research model after realising how urban areas were privileged technological wise, always leaving behind the rural areas.
“Having been working in the ITC for years, I have realised that technological developments are always brought to the urban areas first then rural areas last. This method brings problems in the infrastructure while installing the system. Infrastructure becomes a problem in the sense that when they are installing the communication technology then the plan is worked out only for urban areas; meaning that when they eventually get to the rural areas, the research and infrastructure installation will be costly and takes a long time because the rural areas landscape is different from urban areas,” Mbale says.
In order to find solution to that issue Mbale decided to endeavour on a paper research on how to implement a telecommunication technology that might be installed in the urban areas as well as the rural areas at the same time.
LTE-RWAM will be used to pass across the rural area and connect to the urban area.
According to Mbale, LTE-RWAM would use simpler, cheaper infrastructure but will nevertheless be very effective. This technology will service the rural sector and adequately connect to urban areas. Moreover, a set of equipment that would suit the geographical rural environment has been envisaged.
“RWAM will allow us to take the connectivity to the needy people in the rural area. I believe they need it more than even urban area, because they are leaving most of the time staying in a scattered area with no connection,” Mbale emphasised.
Long term evolution is an evolutionary step that builds on GSM and WCDM A to make higher data rates for mobile broadband services economically viable.
Although GSM and WCDMA was considered to have some drawbacks such as high latency and low speed, much research have been undertaken in order to improve the existing technologies.
LTE –RWAM research paper was accepted in July 2011 by Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and application conferences (SATNAC), which is an annual event hosted under the auspices of Telkom and attracts in excess of 400 delegates on the continent becoming one of the leading ICT Conference where Industry, academia and operators publish on matters concerning progress achieved in applied research in ICT. Furthermore, an American journal (Journal of computer Science, techno and application) has recently requested to publish LTE-RWAM paper.