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Isolated rural areas often lack terrestrial telecommunication networks, especially in developing countries, which poses an important obstacle for offering health assistance of acceptable quality. On the other hand, low density and low concentration of population, lack of electricity in many areas, and accessibility problems make it difficult to propose realistic solutions based on conventional technologies. This work presents the development of an autonomous solar-powered wireless node for low-cost, static mesh networks. IEEE 802.11 is used for communication among nodes. The network is QoS-aware at the IP level, providing reliable VoIP services, and nodes contain a software PBX so that any two nodes in the network can establish a multihop VoIP communication.
Date of Publication: June 2008