Wireles Networking is a practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunications infrastructure. See the editorial for more information....

General Advice

The economies of developing countries are very different from the developed world, and thus a process or solution designed for a more developed country may not be suitable in West Africa, or Southern Asia. Specifically, the cost of locally produced materials and the cost of labour will be negligible, whereas imported goods can be much more expensive when compared to its cost in the developed world. For example, one can manufacture and install a tower for a tenth of the cost of a tower in the United States, but the price of an antenna might be double. Solutions that capitalize on local competitive advantages, namely cheap labour and locally found materials, will be the easiest to replicate.

Finding the right equipment is one of the most difficult tasks in developing markets. Because transportation, communication and economic systems are not developed, the right materials or equipment can be difficult and often impossible to find. A fuse, for example, is difficult to find, thus finding wire that has a burn-up at a certain amperage and can substitute is a great advantage.

Finding local substitutes for materials also encourages local entrepreneurship, ownership, and can save money.

Last Update: 2007-01-14