Feeds

Mobile coverage comes to embattled Misurata

'We are experiencing an outage due to rocket attacks'

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.