Feeds

Mobile coverage comes to embattled Misurata

'We are experiencing an outage due to rocket attacks'

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The chaps behind rough telephone network Free Libyana are now up and running in recently-retaken Misurata, bringing much-needed mobile connectivity to Libya's third-largest city. The engineers arrived by fishing boat, having endured a 30-hour ride from Malta.

Ousama Abushagur was again behind the operation, though this time there wasn't a local network to steal – Misurata's infrastructure having been extensively damaged by months of fighting. But local engineers were still on hand to get a stand-alone network up and running, and now the residents can start working out who amongst their friends and contacts has survived.

The city was initially taken by the rebels in February, but was slowly retaken by Gaddafi's forces over the next couple of months. Coalition air cover provided some support to the rebels, who retook the city during May, and those forces are now pushing out towards nearby Zlitan, but the months of fighting has left Misurata in a right mess.

Which is what prompted another effort by Ousama Abushagur and his supporters to get mobile telecommunications working, bringing in equipment from Malta (30 miles across the Med) and integrating it into an Ericsson base station which was still standing. Despite regular power cuts, and the occasional rocket attack, the network is now up and running.

Backhaul to the Free Libyana network isn't possible, as the rebels don't hold the intervening land, so it is a satellite uplink, with most of the network infrastructure (HLR, SMSC, MSC) being newly brought in. That means users need to be registered manually with the network, which also enables the operator to restrict connectivity to genuine locals, rather than government agents who got left behind.

But just like Free Libyana, the Misurata network isn't charging users for domestic calling, being entirely funded by donations solicited by Ousama Abushagur, mainly from Libyans living abroad. That can't last forever, but these days network infrastructure is a necessary precursor to rebuilding, so hopefully that will quickly follow. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.