Dealing with technical issues

We have 19 networks up and running around Oaxaca now and have decided to take a pause in regards to new installations in order to focus on tightening up our support infrastructure and processes to actually be able to attend to the issues that arise.

With all these networks running, we have zeroed in on some important points of failure.

First and foremost, the FLOSS GSM stack we use has some kinks that need to be worked out, which we are doing together with Holger Freyther from Sysmocom/Osmocom. These pertain mainly to paging problems, broken channels, and a big one that is perceived by user around how the audio is handled. Beyond that our hardware setup has been really stable in almost all cases, excepting one major ligthening strike that fried what we had in place to protect the BTS and also part of the BTS itself.

More generally, what we are seeing with regards to problems are more related to the reliability of the Internet we use and the electrical grid. From the Internet side, no matter with WISP we are working with, we are finding that there is congestion at the fiber that leaves Oaxaca, and consequently the VoIP aspect of what we do becomes impossible for some minutes or even hours every day. This issue, like the electrical grid issue, are related to major, national deficiencies. This is frustrating as it feels like there isn’t much we can do about it. We have begun a process at looking at other fiber options in Oaxaca with the government, but that is going slowly.

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