The Macedonia Connects Project, a program designed to provide the entire country with affordable high-speed wireless connectivity, already is delivering Internet content to Macedonia’s 360 primary and 100 secondary schools. In addition, two-dozen secondary school dormitories, 15 university faculties and another 15 local Educational Development Board offices have been connected to the Motorola Canopy network. Additionally, more than 1000 businesses are served by the same network.
The Macedonia Connects Project, managed by the Academy for Educational Development, is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia.
“To establish a national wireless network requires that at least 95 percent of a country’s population has ready access to low-cost Internet connectivity,” said Glenn Strachan, AED’s director of the Macedonia Connects Project. “Wiring the schools created the springboard to full connectivity, and we knew from experience that this would produce a tremendously positive economic impact for Macedonia. In terms of Macedonia’s relatively small land mass, which is about 25,333 square kilometers, we were able to conduct this cost-effective program on a national, rather than a pilot scale,” Strachan added.
According to On.Net, a large Internet service provider in Macedonia, the Motorola Canopy deployment provides the wireless backbone that delivers high- speed wireless connectivity nationally to urban and rural areas alike.
“Wi-Fi repeaters have been installed in 531 locations at schools, universities and local government offices to facilitate additional network connectivity to individuals and businesses,” said Predrag Cemerikic, On.net’s CEO. “Wireless Broadband access is provided for businesses and the general public with Motorola Canopy subscriber units in 36 cities and 170 villages throughout the Republic of Macedonia from the 130-plus Motorola Canopy Access Points that were initially deployed for the schools project.”
“The Macedonia Connects Project is a good example of scalability,” said Dennis Stipati, director of sales for Motorola Canopy in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. “Working with On.net — a large in-country Internet service provider — and by using the schools as a platform for the country-wide network, we have been able to build to a scale large enough so that the resulting market has the economic critical mass to help ensure uninterrupted Internet connectivity, especially in rural areas. In turn, this larger scale has enabled On.net to lower the prices of connectivity dramatically and offer special teacher/student packages at 9 euros to 15 euros per month,” Stipati added.
On.net designed Macedonia’s country-wide wireless broadband network to Motorola Canopy specification. All of the Motorola Canopy equipment was supplied by Skopje-based Login Systems, a leading regional importer and distributor of Motorola products.
Winner of the 2005 SUPERquest Award for Continuous Achievement, Motorola’s Canopy platform is a robust, high-speed wireless broadband solution for cost- effective connectivity for private networks, such as governments or enterprises and for Internet service providers and carriers. The Canopy platform, part of the MOTOwi4 wireless access solutions, is a scalable, reliable platform that supports high speed broadband applications. Its superior performance promises one of the lowest total costs of ownership and is designed to significantly reduce a provider’s start-up, maintenance and leased-line costs. The Canopy point-to-point and point-to-multipoint system configurations are being deployed in more than 100 countries around the world.