By Farayi Machamire
GABORONE - RELIABLE and affordable internet connectivity at any major games event in the world is one of the most essential products. However, this is, somehow, often the most overlooked perspective because travelling reporters thus often find themselves battling to source internet and fighting against the ropes to beat work deadlines in their noble endeavours to inform the world.
The good thing is, that has not been the case at the ongoing Africa Youth Games because Botswana Post and South African company Cloudseed, have moved to squash these problems by providing a mobile bus equipped with 19 computer workstations that provide high speed connectivity. Dubbed Mobile I-Lab, the 19 workstations are equipped with a touch screen as well as audio and microphone jacks. Each workstation has a biometric finger scanner as a security feature.
The bus is fitted with an XF3 Moto Sat 1.8 metre dish, one of the fastest mobile satellites on the market. Running under the name Poso Cloud, the initiative offers cloud hot-spots at the 17 venues where the 21 sporting disciplines are taking place in this land locked southern African country of just over two million people. The system not only provides hassle-free communication but it is free for accredited reporters as well spectators who are fortunate to receive one time vouchers which access the network at all 17 sites. As extras, the Mobile I-Lap has one telephone which uses voice over IP, meaning users can telephone at zero charge. In terms of electricity, when mobile, the bus runs on two 7000 watts generators. The bus is also a Wi-Fi hot-spot with users able to access internet from 25-50 metres radius from the bus’ satellite. Cloudseed chief, Ms Storom said the project was keeping with the company’s objectives of offering a comprehensive end-to-end suite of connectivity. “Cloudseed understands the importance of staying connected, which is why we are proud to provide a free access network to you during the African Youth Games,” she said.