Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ICT in Papua New Guinea

One of the staunchest supporters and critics of this column has been my good friend and University of Technology electrical electronics and telecommunications lecturer Elias Mandawali (pictured left).

Mr Mandawali is a visionary who has strong views about the status quo of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Papua New Guinea.

I often engage in tech-talk with him over the phone or through email and seek his technical expertise on the massive Information Revolution currently sweeping the globe.

Mr Mandawali will next month run a short course conducted by the Department of Electrical Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering Department at Unitech as part of an educational campaign to provide necessary information and education to IT sections in this country.

The hi-tech workshop - geared towards Internet Broadband fundamental concepts and implementations in Papua New Guinea – will cover topics such as Wireless Radio Systems Technology, Wireless Internet Access Technology and Application, Practical Computer Laboratory Sessions, and Powerline Communication Systems.

It comes at a time when a massive Information Revolution is taking place in this increasingly-globalised world as economies use ICT as a passport to what economists call the “New Economy”.

Mr Mandawali explains that the short course aims “to make everyone aware of the technology and to remind us here that this technology is taking the world by storm”.

“What does ICT means to you and I and the bulk of the Papua New Guineans?” he asks

“If we can firstly define the three words, we are then able to make good important decisions that will benefit the bulk of the Papua New Guineans, and then we can talk about making the policies on the ICT.

“If we blindly make a policy without understanding of ICT and its applications and if the policy does not suit us, then we have become ignorant in the technology and we can just forget the policy because it is going to be someone else that is going to benefit from the ICT.

“It is my firm believe that everyone must firstly be made away of the advantages and disadvantages of the technology so everyone can appreciate its implementation and support it in every means.

“Information – may include voice and data.

“Communication – means the exchange of information and the information must be received understood and be returned or replied and or transmitted.

“Technology – means the mechanisms which the information is communicated and the mechanisms which we can refer to in this explanation are the PSTN and the WWW as in the digital systems.

“By way of understanding and the proper meaning of the ICT, we tend to think of the ICT as transmission/reception of information technology in terms of ‘0’, and ‘1’ or bits.

“A bit can be sent via a transmission network or many bits can be sent via a transmission network.

“And so the ICT is actually the telecommunication network that provides a network in telecommunication engineering systems and network for the exchanges of bits which contains information of voice or data or mixture of both.

“By definition the two telecommunication networks - the World Wide Web (WWW) and Public Switch Telephone Networks (PSTN) - are not the same.

“These two systems are referred to as providing ICT

“The Broadband Internet provided by either system is not the same and is not equal.

“Therefore PSTN Broadband Internet cannot be called Broadband Internet because it is riding on 4 kHz which never and cannot become Broadband according to the telecommunication technologies.

“The Public Switch Telephone Network goes back as far as 1920s when first radio link was invented and used in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, and ‘80s.

“The ‘90s saw the emergence of digital technology where half-synchronous digital hierarchy was developed to replace the analogue 4 kHz voice frequency telephony systems used in history.

“In Public Switch Telephone Network, the frequency division multiplexing technology is used to send more than one signal through the main transmission network through cable or microwave radio relay links.

“One system is limited to a maximum of 960 channels only.

“The PSTN is provided on the circuit-based telecommunication network.

“The World Wide Web is based on the latest packet technology and the information is transmitted in bits of ‘0’, and ‘1’ digital bit stream and so the bit rate and the terms capacity tends to used in ICT to rate the information flow within the various transmission and user networks.

“With the present latest WiFi-function computer Broadband telecommunication network, the network and the last-mile solutions are brought closer to the user base to effect simple solutions on cost-effective simple-to-install networks and user components at the last-mile.

“The last mile is where WiFi-function wireless Local Area Network providing Broadband Internet becomes very effective at 54Mbps.

“Every WiFi function wireless local area network shall operate at 54 Mbps at 450 meters,
the latest IEEE 802.11 standard.

“The individual WiFi wireless local area networks are inter-connected via the IEEE802.16e standards.

“The WiFi-function mesh network configuration computer telecommunication network is illustrated in this article.

“The Wi-Fi Mesh Network Configuration is believed to provide unlimited Broadband Internet capacity on IP Address to anyone person anywhere and shall be done at homes on wired access points and on WiMAX and Wi-Fi standards and protocols as stated above.”

Those who wish to engage in tech-talk with Mr Mandawali or find our more about next month’s short course can contact him on email .

•For feedback and comments, email or SMS 6849763

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