Telecommunications for Development

About

The Centre of Excellence for Broadband Networks and Applications is an interdisciplinary research Centre in advanced networking systems with an emphasis on industrial relevance. The collaboration between two research groups in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science takes place across the University with little regard to organizational boundaries.

The Telecommunications for Development project is designed to develop ICT resources in networks and human-computer interaction that are directly relevant to the South African context. The aims of the project are to use ICT for socio-economic development. The essential idea is to develop software frameworks and processes for producing reliable, cost-effective, scalable and efficient solutions on a variety of network platforms. The solutions themselves feed back into designing better network infrastructure. The focus on developing prototypes means that potential investors have a ready idea of how the research will be useful and exploitable.

Wireless and other communications technologies, systems, services, service frameworks and applications to empower disadvantaged people in developing world contexts.

People in the underdeveloped and deprived areas of our country have shown that communication is one of their prime needs. They are willing to make sacrifices in order to stay in contact. Our work has shown that people can use telecommunications systems for work, for improving their lives and strengthen their culture.

Our research method is to build applications that satisfy user needs and consider what the outcomes mean in terms of infrastructure on the one hand and impact on people on the other. Such a view tends to ignore the distinctions imposed by a technology-centric view; this leads naturally to embracing convergence of digital technologies. We believe that fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) should be tackled from the point of view of the services and content that is enabled.

One of the biggest barriers to the large-scale deployment of ICT solutions in Africa is the limited telecommunications network. The flexibility offered by hybrid networks (including FMC) points to a way to integrate partial coverage provided by current infrastructure into a whole whose effectiveness is greater than the parts. It allows modern cheaper networks to extend and co-exist with existing infrastructure. Lastly, the cell phone is the most common microprocessor available to customers in the developing world. It offers many advantages as an IP terminal. These include: battery powered, installed customer base and user acceptance, cost, form factor and support.

One of our roles has to be to provide the tools to develop the applications and integrate the infrastructure. The tools for creative people to author and deploy solutions. We also believe that the only way to develop such tools is to use them and refine them with real users.

Members

aphokeer@cs.uct.ac.za
PhD Student
kwametakyiATgmail.com
PhD Student
harrilalbhavanaATgmail.com
Masters Student
STNCOL004ATmyuct.ac.za
PhD Student
edwinATcs.uct.ac.za
Director
fiona.ssoziATgmail.com
PhD Student
fritz.meissnerATgmail.com
Masters Student
georgegitzATgmail.com
Masters Student
husseinATcs.uct.ac.za
Academic/Faculty
jATkingori.co
Masters Student
magdelinelamolaATyahoo.com
Masters Student
maletsabisamATgmail.com
PhD Student
mdensmoreATcs.uct.ac.za
Academic/Faculty
natzlob@gmail.com
PhD Student
katulentwaATgmail.com
PhD Student
dejiolojedeATgmail.com
Masters Student
benz.pierreATgmail.com
PhD Student
rmaliwatuATcs.uct.ac.za
PhD Student
senka.hadzicATgmail.com
Postdoctoral Researcher
sunkanmi.olaleyeATgmail.com
Masters Student
tmullinsATcs.uct.ac.za
Masters Student

Projects

  1. Network Design for Interoperability and Information Access

  2. Improving Multilingual Information Retrieval by Exploiting Multilingual Context

  3. Interfaces for Cultural Heritage Archives

  4. Multimedia over Mobile Devices

  5. Communication Access for Deaf people in South Africa

  6. Wireless Multi-protocol Label Switching (WMPLS)

  7. Smart Wireless Sensor Networking

  8. Smart Wireless Mesh Networks

  9. Electronic Healthcare System