pre-feasibility study report R08 - GUNA Project - ICTP

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Pre-feasibility
Study
GUNA
Global University Network for Africa
Dipartimento di Elettrotecnica, Elettronica e Informatica
Università degli Studi di Trieste
Department of Electrical, Electronic and Information engineering
University of Trieste
November, 2008
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
26NOV08 – Rev.08
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Revision Sheet
Rel. No.
Date
Revision Description
Rev. 00
17OCT2008
First issue – working document
Rev. 01
27OCT2008
Document reviewed by S.Carrato – working document
Rev. 02
06NOV2008
Added draft Task 2 and Task 3 TOCs
Rev. 03
14NOV2008
Added draft Task 2 and Task 3
Rev. 04
20NOV2008
Merged Task1, Task 2 and Task 3
Rev. 05
21NOV2008
Minor errata-corrige
Rev. 06
23NOV2008
Added Task 4
Rev. 07
24NOV2008
Modified 1.2, 6 and 6.1
Rev. 08
26/11/08
Final revision of budget and minor errata corrige
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
26NOV08 – Rev.08
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Table of contents
1.General information
.............................................................................................................
7
1.1 Introduction
...............................................................................................................................
7
1.2 Purpose
......................................................................................................................................
8
1.3 Scope
.........................................................................................................................................
8
1.3.1 First phase
.........................................................................................................................
8
1.3.2 Second phase
.....................................................................................................................
9
1.4 Project references
....................................................................................................................
10
1.5 Acronyms and abbreviations
..................................................................................................
10
1.6 Points of Contact
.....................................................................................................................
10
1.6.1 Information about the document
.....................................................................................
10
1.6.2 Involved organizations
....................................................................................................
11
2.Draft requirements
............................................................................................................
12
2.1 Task 1: VSAT Network - assumptions an constraints
............................................................
12
2.1.1 Methodology
...................................................................................................................
12
2.1.2 Requirements list
.............................................................................................................
13
2.2 Task 2: VSAT Network Personnel Training
...........................................................................
13
2.2.1 Assumptions and constraints
...........................................................................................
13
2.2.2 Requirements list
.............................................................................................................
14
2.3 Task 3: Content Delivery Platform
.........................................................................................
14
2.3.1 Assumptions and constraints
...........................................................................................
14
2.3.2 Methodology
...................................................................................................................
14
2.3.3 Requirements list
.............................................................................................................
15
2.4 Task 4: Educational activities
.................................................................................................
15
2.4.1 Assumptions and constraints
...........................................................................................
16
2.4.2 Methodology
...................................................................................................................
16
2.4.3 Requirements list
.............................................................................................................
16
3.Proposed system
..............................................................................................................
17
3.1 VSAT Network
......................................................................................................................
17
3.1.1 VSAT Network - system overview
.................................................................................
17
3.1.1.1 Telecommunication network overview
...................................................................
17
3.1.1.2 VSAT background
...................................................................................................
18
3.1.1.3 VSAT and GUNA
...................................................................................................
19
3.1.2 VSAT Network - description of proposed system
..........................................................
19
3.1.2.1 Improvements
..........................................................................................................
21
3.1.2.2 Time and Resource Costs
........................................................................................
21
3.1.2.3 Impacts
....................................................................................................................
22
3.1.2.3.1 Equipment Impacts
...............................................................................................
22
3.1.2.3.2 Software Impacts
..................................................................................................
23
3.1.2.3.3 Organizational Impacts
.........................................................................................
23
3.1.2.3.4 Operational Impacts
.............................................................................................
23
3.1.2.3.5 Deployment Impacts
.............................................................................................
23
3.1.2.3.6 Site or Facility Impacts
.........................................................................................
23
3.2 VSAT Network Personnel Training
.......................................................................................
24
3.2.1 Analysis of requests
........................................................................................................
24
3.2.2 Needed technology
..........................................................................................................
24
3.2.3 Number of persons
..........................................................................................................
24
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3.2.4 Personnel profile
.............................................................................................................
24
3.2.4.1 Technicians personnel
.............................................................................................
24
3.2.4.2 “Trained-as-trainers” personnel
..............................................................................
24
3.2.4.3 Material to be prepared
............................................................................................
25
3.2.4.4 Technicians training
................................................................................................
25
3.2.4.5 Trainers training
......................................................................................................
25
3.2.5 Requested effort
..............................................................................................................
25
3.2.5.1 Technicians training
................................................................................................
25
3.2.5.2 “Trained-as-trainer” training
...................................................................................
25
3.2.6 Telecommunications laboratory
......................................................................................
26
3.3 Content Delivery Platform
.....................................................................................................
26
3.3.1 Content Delivery Platform “state of the art”
...................................................................
26
3.3.1.1 Available platforms
.................................................................................................
28
3.3.1.2 Content Management Systems
................................................................................
28
Open Source CMSs
..............................................................................................................
28
Proprietary CMSs
.................................................................................................................
28
3.3.1.3 Virtual Learning Environments
...............................................................................
29
Open Source VLEs
...............................................................................................................
29
Proprietary VLEs
..................................................................................................................
29
3.3.2 On site facilities
..............................................................................................................
29
3.3.3 Educational material classification
.................................................................................
30
3.3.4 Database size estimation
.................................................................................................
30
3.3.5 Satellite network traffic estimation
.................................................................................
31
3.3.6 Choices to be made under a cost vs performance perspective
........................................
31
3.3.7 CDP personnel profile
.....................................................................................................
31
3.3.8 Requested CMS and VLE personnel training
.................................................................
31
3.3.8.1 IT professional training
...........................................................................................
31
3.4 Educational activities
..............................................................................................................
32
3.4.1 Possible candidate universities
........................................................................................
32
3.4.2 State of the art analysis
...................................................................................................
34
3.4.2.1 First overview about the universities
.......................................................................
34
3.4.2.2 Overview about related initiatives
...........................................................................
41
3.4.2.3 Case Studies
............................................................................................................
47
3.4.3 The questionnaire
...........................................................................................................
49
3.4.3.1 Method to analyse the questionnaire answers
.........................................................
49
3.5 Assessment and measurement of the project effectiveness
....................................................
51
4.Traceability matrix
.............................................................................................................
52
4.1 VSAT Network
.......................................................................................................................
52
4.2 VSAT Network Personnel Training
.......................................................................................
52
4.3 Content delivery platform
.......................................................................................................
52
4.4 Educational activities
..............................................................................................................
53
5.Open issues
......................................................................................................................
54
5.1 VSAT network
........................................................................................................................
54
5.2 VSAT Network Personnel Training
.......................................................................................
54
5.3 Content Delivery Platform
......................................................................................................
54
5.4 Educational Activities
.............................................................................................................
54
6.Further steps
.....................................................................................................................
55
6.1 VSAT Network feasibility study
............................................................................................
55
6.1.1 Budget
.............................................................................................................................
55
6.2 VSAT Network Personnel Training feasibility study
.............................................................
56
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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6.2.1 Budget
.............................................................................................................................
56
6.3 Content Delivery Platform feasibility study
...........................................................................
56
6.3.1 Budget
.............................................................................................................................
56
6.4 Educational activities feasibility study
...................................................................................
56
6.4.1 Budget
.............................................................................................................................
57
6.5 Assessment of the project - feasibility study
..........................................................................
57
6.5.1 Budget
.............................................................................................................................
57
6.6 Total feasibility study budget
.................................................................................................
57
7.Appendixes
.......................................................................................................................
58
7.1 Task 3 Appendix
.....................................................................................................................
59
7.1.1 Additional references
......................................................................................................
59
7.1.2 Open Source Content Management System
....................................................................
59
7.1.3 Proprietary Content Management System
......................................................................
63
7.1.4 Description of open source and proprietary CMSs
.........................................................
67
7.1.5 Description of some Open Source VLEs
........................................................................
81
7.1.6 Description of proprietary VLEs
.....................................................................................
85
8.Attachments
......................................................................................................................
87
List of tables
Table 1: Document contacts.
..............................................................................................................
10
Table 2: Organisations involved.
........................................................................................................
11
Table 3: Requirements to meet for the VSAT Network task.
............................................................
13
Table 4: Requirements to meet for the VSAT Personnel Training task.
............................................
14
Table 5: Requirements to meet for the Content Delivery Platform task.
...........................................
15
Table 6: Requirements to meet for the Educational Activities task.
.................................................
16
Table 7: VSAT Frequency bands.
......................................................................................................
18
Table 8: Cost analysis example.
.........................................................................................................
22
Table 9: List of possible candidate universities
.................................................................................
33
Table 10: Characteristics of the possible candidate universities.
.......................................................
37
Table 11: Universities website addresses
...........................................................................................
38
Table 12: Educational offer of the possible candidate universities.
...................................................
41
Table 13: List of related initiatives.
....................................................................................................
42
Table 14: Related initiatives description.
...........................................................................................
47
Table 15: Traceability matrix for the VSAT Network task
................................................................
52
Table 16: Traceability matrix for the VSAT Network Personnel Training task.
...............................
52
Table 17: Requirements to meet for the Content Delivery Platform task.
........................................
52
Table 18:VSAT Network feasibility study budget
.............................................................................
56
Table 19: VSAT Network Personnel Training feasibility study budget.
...........................................
56
Table 20: Content Delivery Platform feasibility study budget.
..........................................................
56
Table 21: Educational Activities feasibility study budget.
.................................................................
57
Table 22: Educational Activities feasibility study budget.
.................................................................
57
Table 23: Feasibility study budget.
....................................................................................................
57
Table 24: Open Source Content Management Systems
.....................................................................
62
Table 25: Proprietary Content Management Systems
........................................................................
66
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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Executive summary
This document is written in the framework the GUNA project (Global University Network for

Africa) of the COSTIS programme (Consortium on Science Technology and Innovation for the

South) which aims to connect the African Universities in a global network to facilitate the scientific

and the technological growth.
The input of this document is given by the need of setting up a feasibility study about the two main

parts of the project: the technological part and the scientific and educational part. The former is

related to the telecommunication infrastructure and information portal to support the real contents

that are the subject of the latter.
In essence, this document represents a pre-feasibility study in which the elements to be used for a

feasibility study are made evident.
The two aspects of the project, the technology and the education, may have different relevance in

different existing contexts present in Africa. In some more developed universities, the level of the

telecommunication infrastructure may be already satisfying the needs of the educational activities,

but the educational offer may be enhanced by the presence of a network like GUNA should be.
In other cases, the infrastructure may appear very poor and in that case a significant benefit may be

given by the deploying a network making internet access available and in addition an adequate

content in terms of educational material.
On both the technological and educational aspects, a survey on the “state of the art” is made in the

document and in parallel a questionnaire has been prepared to complete the information package

needed for the feasibility study. The results of the questionnaire will be consolidated with the

results of the pre-feasibility study as soon they'll be available.
Main conclusions of the preliminary study are:

VSAT technology is mature and commercially available

the deployment of a VSAT network is relatively simple

potentially, all IP based services are supported

interfaces are usually standard and easily integrable in existing networks

bandwidth potential is virtually not limited but practically it may lower by one or more

orders of magnitude compared with of cabled networks

the need of bandwidth is a key point to evaluate the recurrent costs of the network and then

evaluate sustainability

smart balance of bandwidth an contents may allow meaningful education scenarios

Content Delivery Platforms are used ubiquitous

several different solutions are available: free and commercial, open source and proprietary

expandability allows to add features through add-in modules

integration can be performed

a large disparity among the 41 African Universities analysed exists in terms of: “on line”

information,degree courses organization,educational offer,language,size, geographical

organization

possible innovative aspect of GUNA Educational Activities: training of African lecturers not

(or not only) by means of distance learning programmes, but also by means of real courses

organized either in Africa or in Europe and taught by European lectures
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1.
General information
1.1
Introduction
The GUNA project (Global University Network for Africa) of the COSTIS programme

(Consortium on Science Technology and Innovation for the South) aims to connect the African

Universities in a global network to facilitate the scientific and the technological growth.
The GUNA project will cover not only the network infrastructure but also the contents carried by

the network itself. In fact, the network infrastructure will be the underlying structure of the GUNA

network and it will be maintained by local people trained within the frame of the project.
Over the network infrastructure, a system to allow the effective exchange of scientific,

technological and educational material is envisioned, which will be implemented and maintained,

again, by local people trained for this purpose in the frame of the project. This system will be called

Content Delivery Platform (CDP) later in the document.
Once the communication network and the CDP will be running, a set of tailored educational

material will be prepared and made available for the GUNA network users. In this way, the number

of people enabled to access to the material will be broaden without the need for expensive travels.
Last, but not least, the training of the local lecturers. The educational material will not just be

delivered but it will be given to local lecturers who will be trained on it in the frame of the GUNA

project.
More information about the project may be found at
http://guna.ictp.it

.

To make it easier the understanding of the project objectives, the following breakdown structure has

been adopted. The GUNA project will provide:
1.
an adequate network infrastructure in academia
a)
key universities connected by satellite links (VSAT Network)
b)
terrestrial wireless connections
2.
Network operation and development personnel training
a)
ICT for academy
b)
Wireless networking
c)
e-learning
3.
Content Delivery Platform
a)
A web based system to enable local access to higher education, scientific knowledge and

dissemination.
4.
Educational Activities
a)
local lecturers and scientists trained in the frame of GUNA
b)
collaboration between African universities
c)
distance learning
5.
Assessment and measurement of the effectiveness of the project
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1.2
Purpose
This document reports the results of the preliminary study on the GUNA project with respect to the

breakdown structure described in the introduction.
The contents of this document are related to

activities carried out by the

D
epartment of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering

(DEEI) of the
University of Trieste. Other entities are working in the frame of GUNA (e.g. in the

field of medicine), their activities are in the context of the Educational Activities and are not

described in the DEEI's preliminary study.
The outcome of this preliminary study is the definition of:

“state of the art” of VSAT based networks

bandwidth

contention ratio vs costs

supported services

cost/year or cost/GB + traffic per year

desiderata for an efficient network ( depending on content delivery platform + educational

content) (say: basic hypothetical requirements for the network to be consolidated with the

conclusions of the other parts of the preliminary study)

VSAT network maintenance requests;

VSAT personnel profile;

VSAT material;

Content Delivery Platform “state of the art”:

Content Management Systems;

Virtual Learning Environment;

educational material carried by the network;

cost vs. performance suggestions;

educational content;

candidate universities to run the project

traceability matrix.
1.3
Scope
To set up a feasibility study about the project a clear view of the main elements - technological and

educational – has to be given. This is why a two phases approach has been decided: the former, a

pre-feasibility study, will clarify objectives and main elements availability; the latter, a real

feasibility study, will give the complete picture including budget and planning.
1.3.1
First phase
The activities that have to be completed in the first phase are the following:
·
this preliminary feasibility study begins with the availability of a minimum of economic

resources essential to employ the members of the team;
·
the team should be formed by personnel already present within the university

(representatives) and a
researcher
that will work full time on the project;
·
study of the VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite systems;
·
start of an analysis to know what is today available for what concerns both systems and

services. This can be obtained via web or through contacts, already existents or to be starter

with qualified people.
During the previous activity we’ll get in touch with the African universities to know which are their

Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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necessities and who are the representatives. After these activities an analysis about the needs and

the possibilities to satisfy them can be started in order to base out the second phase of the feasibility

study.
1.3.2
Second phase
The preliminary study will allow planning a real feasibility study, with the following activities:
·
contacts with the earth VSAT devices suppliers;
·
contacts with the services suppliers;
·
verification whether the possible interested partner, identified in the previous phase, can

become operative or not;
·
deep analysis of the costs;
·
search for possible interested partners (i.e. Italian Space Agency);
·
choice of the African universities with which to collaborate. This activity will have to be

developed within an ICTP field. One or more agreements will have to be signed between the

University of Trieste, Udine and the African university;
·
comparison and discussion with the African universities;
·
definition of working hypothesis of the system with also the integration with the earth

network;
·
analysis of the possibility to develop the VSAT devices (instead of buying them) in order to

reduce the costs;
·
power supply: similarly, analysis of what is needed to be bought and what can be developed

in our labs to provide stable and reliable power supply sources;
·
definition of training, installation and maintenance.
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1.4
Project references
Main references that were used in preparation of this document are listed below.
1.
“GUNA_CONCEPT_NOTE_-_8_05__1”;
2.
“The GUNA Programme of the COSTIS Project”;
3.
“GUNA: Considerations about the study of feasibility”.
1.5
Acronyms and abbreviations
IP
Internet Protocol (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Protocol
)
C-band
electromagnetic spectrum between 4 GHz and 8 GHz
Ku-band
electromagnetic spectrum between 12 GHz and 18 GHz
TCP
Transmission Control Protocol

(
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_Control_Protocol
)
UPS
Un-interruptible Power Supply
VSAT
Very Small Aperture Terminal
CDP
Content Delivery Platform
VLE
Virtual Learning Environment
1.6
Points of Contact
1.6.1
Information about the document
Name
Institution/company
Address
Phone
E-mail
Carrato
Sergio
Image Processing Laboratory,

DEEI, University of Trieste
via Valerio 10, I-34100

Trieste, Italy
+39 040 558 7147
carrato@units.it
Cervelli
Federico
DEEI, University of Trieste
via Valerio 10, I-34100

Trieste, Italy
+39-040 558 7140
cervelli@df.unipi.it
Fragiacomo
Mario
DEEI, University of Trieste
via Valerio 10, I-34100

Trieste, Italy
+39 335 805 2238
mfragiacomo@units.it
Santarossa
Fabio
DEEI, University of Trieste
via Valerio 10, I-34100

Trieste, Italy
+39 333 799 1425
fsantarossa@units.it
Ukovich
Anna
DEEI, University of Trieste
via Valerio 10, I-34100

Trieste, Italy
aukovich@units.it
Table
1
: Document contacts.
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1.6.2
Involved organizations
project sponsor
FIT- ICTP
developer
TBD
user
GUNA's Institutions
coordination center
FIT- ICTP
Table
2
: Organisations involved.
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2.
Draft requirements
2.1
Task 1: VSAT Network - a
ssumptions an constraints
The basic requirement to be fulfilled is the connection of a certain numbers of universities to a

internet backbone. It is supposed that a cable connection is not available, and given that:

a technological solution is possible employing the VSAT technology,

VSAT service is commercially available in the Sub-Saharan area of Africa
a VSAT solution is analysed.
Some preliminary considerations are necessary:

the required bandwidth, that is the amount of information per time unit to be transported by

the connection is a priori unknown;

the required bandwidth vs number of students in a certain university is something that may

be calculated only on a statistical basis where a connection is already in use and is not

congested

the required bandwidth is strongly dependent on the contents that have to be transported
Requirements may change depending on user type, number of nodes and kind of traffic. The list

should be specialized case-by-case.
2.1.1
Methodology
The methodology used is based on a survey made on current documentation of the project, internet

resources and a customized questionnaire to be submitted to the potential users.
Due to the uncertain definition of one of the basic parameters of the connection, a kind of

normalization is tried. A bandwidth of 1Mbps is supposed to show the concept.
The aim is to understand the order of magnitude of the required investment to make the VSAT

operational and to maintain it during the lifetime.
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2.1.2
Requirements list
Reference
Title
Description
VSAT-REQ-001
IP connectivity
The system is supposed to provide IP connectivity.
VSAT-REQ-002
Bandwidth return

carrier
The return carrier bitrate shall be TBD Mbps
1
.
VSAT-REQ-003
Bandwidth

forward carrier
The forward carrier bitrate shall be TBD Mbps
2
.
VSAT-REQ-004
Availability
The availability of the sat connection shall be better than 99,6% (TBD).
VSAT-REQ-005
Interfaces
The interface shall be standard. (ethernet or equivalent)
VSAT-REQ-006
Monitoring
The operational monitoring shall be made by local operators.
VSAT-REQ-007
Maintenance
The maintenance shall be made by local operators.
VSAT-REQ-008
Applications
The application potentially supported by the sat connection will be: web

browsing,
e
-mail, File Transfer Protocol (FTP),

Voice over IP (VoIP),

Virtual Private Networks (VPN),

Videoconferencing (TBD)
VSAT-REQ-009
Regulations
Regulations are to be checked on country-by-country basis
3
VSAT-REQ-010
Operational life
At least 5 years
4
.
Table
3
: Requirements to meet for the VSAT Network task.
2.2
Task 2: VSAT Network Personnel Training
The outcome of this task is the definition of:

organisation of personnel (e.g. coordination, operation, maintenance)

personnel profile (language spoken, technical skills, etc)

trainer profile (language spoken, technical skills, etc)

material to be prepared

rough estimation of effort (man/months) for preparing the courses, hold the courses and

remote support
This task is dependent on tasks
VSAT Network
.
2.2.1
Assumptions and constraints
The major goal of this task is to form an on-site group of personnel devoted to the VSAT apparel, in

order to guarantee its maintenance an upgrade by on-site professionals.
Some considerations must be done:

different universities have different number of users;

the number of users influence the device to install;

the required training depends on the installed devices;

training could be performed by the VSAT installer.
The panorama is various and the right organization must be tuned on the on-site situation.
1
Not given the dimension of the University and not given the kind of educational material, the number has TBD.
2
See note
above
3
Local regulations may restrict the use of internet connection through satellite.
4
Operational life of the system may be reasonably higher, since terrestrial networks development and technological

improvements may impact the effectiveness of the solution, it has to be considered to review the solution in 5 years.
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2.2.2
Requirements list
Here is a a list of the requirements for this task.
Reference
Title
Description
VNPT-REQ-01
VSAT installer

documentation“Trained
-as-trainers”
The VSAT installer shall give full material to maintain and support in

the medium term the installed devicesA group of trainers shall be

trained
VNPT-REQ-02
Technicians training
A group of technicians shall be trained
VNPT-REQ-03
“Trained-as-trainers”

training
A group of trainers shall be trained
VNPT-REQ-04
VSAT Leader
A higher education person shall be identified to set up a

telecommunications laboratory
VNPT-REQ-05
Telecommunication

laboratory course

material
A full course material shall be prepared to start the

telecommunications laboratory
Table
4
: Requirements to meet for the VSAT Personnel Training task.
2.3
Task 3: Content Delivery Platform
The outcome of this task should be the definition of:

“state of the art” of the available tools for shared knowledge and distance learning;

educational material carried by the network;

estimation of the database size referred to a prototype course;

platform cost vs performance analysis.
This task is dependent on tasks
VSAT Network
and
Educational Contents
.
2.3.1
Assumptions and constraints
After the connection of the universities to the internet backbone, the GUNA network must be

provided with a platform to deliver the desired content to its users. It is supposed that the

universities don't have such a platform or employ different platforms. Thus a common Content

Delivery Platform (CDP) is researched, allowing an easy and general-purpose platform.
Some preliminary considerations are made:

the real
on site
bandwidth is a priori unknown;

the deliverable content depends on the
on site
bandwidth;

the quality needed for more advanced services (e.g. VoIP and video conferencing) can vary

the requested resources by orders of magnitude;

streaming services are demanding tasks, thus they need powerful servers to encode the

audio-video flux;

a time delay can affect the services, due to the VSAT network connection;

a terrestrial network planning is needed to overcome bandwidth fractioning on University

site, but
ad hoc
servers are needed for this.
Thus, requirements may change depending on user type, user numbers, services to be provided. The

list should be specialized case-by-case.
2.3.2
Methodology
This pre-feasibility study is based on a survey made on current documentation of the project,

internet references and a questionnaire to be submitted to the potential users.
In this report a

platform is sought in order to provide all kind of contents.
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2.3.3
Requirements list
Here is a a list of the requirements for this task.
Reference
Title
Description
CDP-REQ-01
License
The platform shall be Open Source
CDP-REQ-02
Cost
The platform shall be free
CDP-REQ-03
Virtual learning

environment

features
The platform shall be designed to support teaching and learning in an

educational setting
CP-REQ-04
CMS features
The platform shall allow the creation, editing, management and publishing

of the
content

CDP-REQ-05
Database
The employed database shall be free
CDP-REQ-06
Distribution
The platform shall be distributed among the different Universities of the

network
CDP-REQ-07
Scripting

language
The language shall be Open Source and free (e.g. PHP, Python)
CDP-REQ-08
Interface
The platform user interface shall be user friendly
CDP-REQ-09
Plugin
The platform shall be extendible
CDP-REQ-10
User account
The user shall login and have his or her own account.
CDP-REQ-11
Access control
The user shall have administrator configurable rights
CDP-REQ-12
Articles
The platform shall allow article download
CDP-REQ-13
Voice over IP
The platform shall allow VoIP
CDP-REQ-14
Video

conferencing
The platform shall allow video conferencing
CDP-REQ-15
Forum
The platform shall allow one or more discussion forum
Table
5
: Requirements to meet for the Content Delivery Platform task.
2.4
Task 4: Educational activities
GUNA Educational activities (EA) have the aim of improving the educational offer of the African

Universities that will participate in the project.
Possible activities include:

GUNA adds courses or improves existing courses by means of European teachers training

local lecturers

GUNA creates additional degree/diploma courses in the existing universities

GUNA creates distance learning tools to be shared by more than one university

GUNA creates a content delivery platform that can be shared by more than one University

in one country/area

GUNA promotes exchanges of lecturers among African Universities
Some of them are strictly related to the available network connection (in particular the activities

involving distance learning and/or requiring online educational material), thus they can determine

the model to be followed in the previous tasks.
Other activities are not depending on the presence of a reliable network connection (e.g. European

lecturers training African lecturers) and can performed in parallel to the other tasks.
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Both these types of educational activities are in the scope of the GUNA project.
2.4.1
Assumptions and constraints
The only assumption made in the pre-feasibility study concerning the Educational Activities is the

following:

the African universities that will participate in the GUNA project will be chosen among the

41 pointed out by ICTP.
2.4.2
Methodology
In the GUNA Educational Activities (EA) pre-feasibility study the following sub-tasks have been

performed:

A first survey about the situation of the 41 African universities pointed out by ICTP has

been accomplished

A first survey about similar/related initiatives has been made

A questionnaire for deepen the analysis of the 41 University profiles has been prepared

A method to analyse the questionnaire answer has been defined

The GUNA EA Feasibility study sub-tasks and budget have been defined
2.4.3
Requirements list
The list of requirements for the GUNA Educational Activities is shown in
Table 6
Reference
Title
Description
EA-REQ-01
Language
The language of the educational activities shall be the same of the one

spoken in the University (e.g. French, English)
EA-REQ-02
Courses

Organization
In case local lecturers are trained for a new course to be added in a specific

African university, the duration of the course shall be in accordance with

the university courses organization
EA-REQ-03
Degree Course

Organization
In case new degree or short degree courses are prepared by GUNA, the

actual degree courses organization of the involved African universities

shall be taken into consideration.
EA-REQ-04
Country
Country -specific situations shall be taken into consideration by GUNA

Educational activities (e.g. political situation)
EA-REQ-05
Complementarity
In case GUNA creates distance learning programmes to be shared among a

network of African universities, the complementarity of these universities

in terms of educational offer shall be considered
EA-REQ-06
African lectures
Local lectures willing to participate to GUNA educational activities shall be

identified
EA-REQ-07
European lectures
European lectures willing to participate to GUNA educational activities

shall be identified
Table
6
: Requirements to meet for the Educational Activities task.
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3.
Proposed system
3.1
VSAT Network
3.1.1
VSAT Network - system overview
3.1.1.1
Telecommunication network overview
Looking at the telecommunication infrastructure and taking into account the places where a cabled

infrastructure is not available, the need of interconnection of departments, campus, and in general

universities is at different levels.
Mainly, the levels are related to the distances to be covered by the connection. For relatively short

distances, the well known WiFi standard (IEEE 802.11) is suitable for multipoint connections and

even, by the use of directional antennas, for some point to point connections to join different zones
served by a multipoint architecture. This technology is relatively cheap and simple.
For longer distances the WiMax (IEEE 802.16) technology may fill the gap at the cost of more

expensive infrastructure. In this case also local regulations may impact the deployment of such a

solution.
The third level is between the university and an internet backbone. In general, if a cabled

infrastructure is missing, the only solution is to use a satellite connection. In particular, the solution

based a set of suitable technologies goes under the name of VSAT.
A summary is shown in
Figure 1
.
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3.1.1.2
VSAT background
VSAT
stands for Very Small Aperture Terminal due to the “small size” of the antenna and it is used

to describe both one-way and interactive systems.
Generally, these systems operate in the Ku-band and C-band frequencies.
Frequencies used impact the size of the antenna, the attenuation of the signal in rainfall conditions

and the power of the RF transmitter to be employed.
Frequency band
Frequencies used

[GHz]
Size of

antenna [m]
TX power

[W]
Rainfall effect
C-band
3 - 7
1.8 - 3.4
2 - 5
Minimum
Ku-band
12 - 18
0.75 – 1.8
2 - 4
Moderate
Ka-band
18 - 31
Less than 1.2m
Up to 4
Severe
Table
7
: VSAT Frequency bands.
Initial systems were designed to offer fast response times for predicable, bursty traffic patterns,

then, the demand for internet drove the manufacturers to introduce completely new IP-centric

platforms designed to serve broadband applications.
In essence, current systems are now also able to trade a short initial delay to allow the hub to

allocate dedicated capacity within the inbound (return) channel to a VSAT. This capacity is

dynamically sized by the system based on the traffic demand seen by the VSAT. In addition, all

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Figure
1
: Telecommunication network overview.
systems also incorporate frequency hopping, allowing the network to be load-balanced by moving

VSATs between inbound carriers to ensure that capacity is used efficiently and congestion does not

occur.
The VSAT network is a telecommunication network made up by several terminals, one or more

satellites system and in most cases a hub which
controls the entire operation of the network
.
Most VSAT networks are configured in one of these topologies:

a
star
topology, using a central uplink site, such as a network operation center , to transport

data back and forth to each VSAT terminal via satellite,

a
mesh
topology, where each VSAT terminal relays data via satellite to another terminal by

acting as a hub, minimizing the need for a centralized uplink site,

a combination of both star and mesh topologies.
The topology affects both cost and performance of the network and need to be planned on the basis

of a traffic model expected in the network operational phase.
VSAT networks has many pros and cons.
Some of the pros are: a
vailability, diversity, deployability, homogeneity, protocol acceleration,

multicast, security.
Some of the cons are: latency, need for e
ncryption (slows the link), rain effects, clear sky

installation.
3.1.1.3
VSAT and GUNA
Provided that GUNA's primary need is the internet access, the
analysis is focused on IP

connectivity since it's the most widespread protocol for accessing internet and deploying other

higher level protocols for different services and applications.
In the case of GUNA, the terminals of the VSAT network are the remote sites (e.g. universities) that

have the need of satellite connectivity.
3.1.2
VSAT Network - description of proposed system
The topology of the network depends upon a forecast or an hypothesis on the traffic that will be

carried on the network once it's operational. The approach may be a stepped one: in a first phase it

may be assumed that the network will have star topology and it will be implemented in a way that

modular expansion may occur in a second phase. In the second phase the traffic will be better

known and an evolution to a more effective topology could be advisable.
Looking to a star topology, f
rom the user view point, two main elements are to be taken into

account:

the enabling hardware

the VSAT network operator
The hardware is the set of electronic apparatus that makes it possible to have an IP connection using

the satellite link.
The hardware includes mainly: antenna for satellite link, power amplifier, low noise amplifiers,

satellite modem, TCP compression block, IP router and the necessary cable connections. Not to be

forgotten that a good and stable power supply has to be available (e.g. use of an UPS) and room to

contain the hardware with no extreme conditions in terms of temperature and humidity is also

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needed.
The hardware is widely available on the market and it is manufactured by big and multinational

companies. The main system vendors are Huges Network Systems, Gilat Network Systems, ViaSat,

iDirect, IPSTAR and many others.
About VSAT network operators, it is useful to make a distinction about the possible configurations.
Usually, from the user view point, all of the infrastructures outside his premises are under

responsibility of the telecom operator.
In the case of the VSAT network, there are three main segments to be considered, space segment,

operator ground station (hub) and connection to the internet backbone. There are different

possibilities about the ownership of the segments.
The space segment is something that is owned by big companies in the sector of satellite

communication like Intelsat, Eutelsat, etc. Different situations may occur for the rest of the

connection.
An example may be a VSAT operator that uses one or more of the space segments available and

have his
own ground station connected to a local telecommunication operator who gives the

connection to an internet backbone.
An interesting practical opportunity is provided by the presence on the market of so called

integrators.
Integrators are companies focused on providing field engineering services for site survey, site

preparation, installation, support and maintenance of satellite earth station networks. They also may

take care of equipment procurement and shipping issues. In that case, to have the system

operational, the user has to take care only of: providing the room for the equipment installation,

obtain local and national licensing, support the end to end test of the system. On the other hand, the

user is charged for equipment (terminal side and hub side), survey of the site, installation,

activation, and the recurring costs for space segment and internet connection, and optionally

maintenance.
In
Figure 2
a block diagram shows how the connection may be seen by the university.
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3.1.2.1
Improvements
Basically, improvements are related to the bandwidth. Adding bandwidth up to 10 Mbps require

minor modifications to the system and they are limited to the radio-frequency part of the satellite

modem. The most of the impact is on recurrent costs due the traffic fee.
3.1.2.2
Time and Resource Costs
Keeping in mind a solution as described in previous sections, a cost estimation could be based on

the figures reported in table below.
Some of the figure are kept to zero since they are related to specific conditions depending upon the

country or e.g. distance of the site from the nearest airport.
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Figure
2
: VSAT connection block diagram.
Pilot project cost per
5
sites
Forward 1Mbps / Return 512kbps - no contention
Per Site
System
VSAT Equipment
$12.200,00
$61.000,00
Hub Equipment
$6.600,00
$33.000,00
Shipping
$3.000,00
$15.000,00
Custom and local taxes
$0,00
$0,00
Site survey
$4.750,00
$23.750,00
Installation
$5.800,00
$29.000,00
Local transportation
$0,00
$0,00
One time activation
$600,00
$3.000,00
TOTAL System setup
$32.950,00
$164.750,00
Recurrent per month
$2.700,00
$13.500,00
Optional maintenance per year
$2.400,00
$12.000,00
Recurrent per year
$32.400,00
$162.000,00
TOTAL Recurrent per year
$34.800,00
$174.000,00
Table
8
: Cost analysis example.
3.1.2.3
Impacts
3.1.2.3.1
Equipment Impacts
A new hardware will be installed, it includes mainly: antenna for satellite link, power amplifier, low

noise amplifiers, satellite modem, TCP compression block, IP router and the necessary cable

connections.
If an internal network is already existing, the integration of the satellite connectivity is

not not impacting the architecture, the interface is the standard ethernet normally used in intranet

connections.
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3.1.2.3.2
Software Impacts
If an internal network is already existing, only some configurations will be needed: the impact is

marginal. The software for the connection management should be based on web interfaces and

included or provided together with the hardware.
3.1.2.3.3
Organizational Impacts
People has to be trained during installation and configuration to be able to overcome minor

malfunctions of the system in order to keep the system maintenance cost as low as possible and the

system operational the most of the time.

See also section
.
3.1.2.3.4
Operational
Impacts
The system has to be monitored to allow to guarantee the effectiveness of the connection during the

time.
Some u
ser operating procedures should be implemented for system monitoring and in case of

system failure contingencies and recovery procedures are to be executed.
See also section
.
3.1.2.3.5
Deployment Impacts
During the deployment of the system some specific activities are to be performed by the user

(university) in support of the installation of the system (e.g. infrastructure preparation, access to

premises...).
3.1.2.3.6
Site or Facility Impacts
The antenna is typically mounted outdoors in a clear sky condition, that means on the top of a

building or in a open field. The rest of the equipment is typically installed indoors and a good and

stable power supply has to be available (e.g. use of an UPS). The room containing the hardware has

to be chosen not to exceed hardware operational conditions in terms of temperature and humidity.

About this point the hypothesis to use backup solutions based on solar and wind power generators

has to be taken into account where a stable power network is still missing.
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3.2
VSAT Network Personnel Training
3.2.1
Analysis
of requests
The network shall accommodate for the request of a university or group of university on the order

of few hundreds to tens of thousands of users. Depending on this numbers different teams shall be

prepared, in order to:

be properly trained to the specific network devices in charge to the university;

be prepared to face the requests of support of users and to face the maintenance duties of the

apparel.
3.2.2
Needed technology
An effective training is made on the selected devices, in order to answer to specific needs of the

installed apparatus. This depends on the VSAT service chosen and on the on-site organization and

facilities, thus is a matter of planning once the universities involved in the network have been

chosen.
3.2.3
Number
of persons
It is expected that one person is enough to take care of the network once installed. Two persons

could guarantee the service even in case of illness and of not proper functioning.
The Telecommunication laboratory initiative could depend on the network responsible helped by a

researcher and the technician.
3.2.4
Personnel
profile
The personnel to be trained must be chosen in order to guarantee the proper working of the

network, not only in the short term, but also in the medium and long term of the life time of the

network itself.
3.2.4.1
Technicians personnel
The requested skills for technician personnel are:

spoken language:

English is mandatory, because it is the scientific and technical language used in

documentation;

French, Swahili or Arabian because they are the most common languages in the

countries of interest;

network devices interests;

previous web interfaces experiences;

high school education.
3.2.4.2
“Trained-as-trainers” personnel
An added-value may be reached training higher level education personnel. As a matter of fact it is

of paramount importance to have qualified, motivated personnel, to be also involved in further

development of the apparel.
The solution is to form on-site trainer to create the seed of knowledge needed to develop further

knowledge thus allowing the development of the VSAT know-how.
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The requested feature of trained-as-trainer personnel are:

spoken language:

English is mandatory, because it is the scientific and technical language used in

documentation;

French, Swahili or Arabian because they are the most common languages in the

countries of interest;

previous web interfaces experiences;

IT engineer;

basic knowledge of:

network;

network devices;

network connections.
3.2.4.3
Material to be prepared
This section assumes no personnel training by the installer of the VSAT network.
The material shall be prepared based on the on-site installed apparel, together with the person in

charge of the VSAT network on behalf of the university.
3.2.4.4
Technicians training
In case of lower level study the training shall be focused on:

network basics;

network devices basics;

network connections basics;

laboratory practice with the installed devices.
3.2.4.5
Trainers training
In case of higher level study the training shall be focused on:

network, devices and connections basics;

training on the installed system.
3.2.5
Requested
effort
3.2.5.1
Technicians training
Technicians

training shall be a 3 days course depending, on the VSAT system installed, including:

system boot;

system shutdown;

diagnostics basics (network problem first responders);

remote support by phone or web;

laboratory practice.
3.2.5.2
“Trained-as-trainer” training
“Trained-as-trainer” shall
be a 3 to 5 days course, depending on the VSAT system installed,

including:

system boot and shutdown;

diagnostics basics;
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diagnostics advanced;

report generation;

laboratory practice;

class simulation.
3.2.6
Telecommunications
laboratory
A last outcome of this task is the training of personnel in order to put the basis for a

telecommunications laboratory that could take the role of:

basic research in the telecommunications field;

development of advanced knowledge in the VSAT field;

training of trainers;
to guarantee a continuous maintenance and safe drive of the VSAT system.
The head of the group should be an IT professor, leading a team of technicians, students and

researchers.
Training shall be focused on:

frequency hopping techniques;

network traffic management;

antennas;

power amplifiers;

low noise amplifiers;

satellite
technologies
;

TCP stack;

compression algorithms;

IP protocol.
3.3
Content Delivery Platform
3.3.1
Content
Delivery
Platform “state of the art”
A vast amount of Contents Delivery Platforms (CDPs) exist nowadays, due to the increasing use of

web tools for the management of general contents (enterprises documents, multimedia files,

interactive sessions, users communications) and for the development of learning purposes.
We have to make a difference between Content Management Systems (CMSs) and Virtual Learning

Environments (VLEs).
From “
http://www.

wikipedia

.org/

”:
«
Content Management Systems
(CMSs)
5
are computer applications used to create, edit,

manage, and publish content in a consistently organized fashion. CMSs are frequently used

for storing, controlling, versioning and publishing industry-specific documentation such as

news articles, operators' manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures.

The content managed may include computer files, image media, audio files, video files,

electronic documents, and Web content.
A CMS may support the following features:

identification of all key users and their content management roles;

the ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different content categories or types;
5
Also called: Document Management Systems (DMSs), Enterprise Content Managements (ECMs), Web Content

Management Systems (WCMSs)
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definition of workflow tasks for collaborative creation, often coupled with event

messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content;

the ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content;

the ability to capture content;

the ability to publish the content to a repository supporting access to the content itself

(the repository is part of the system and could incorporate content search and

retrieval.).
»
From “
http://www.wikipedia.org/
”:
«
Virtual Learning Environments
(VLEs)
6

are
software systems designed to support teaching

and learning in an educational setting. A VLE will normally work over the Internet and

provide a collection of tools such as those for assessment, communication, uploading of

content, return of students' work, peer assessment, administration of student groups, collecting

and organizing student grades, questionnaires, tracking tools, etc. New features in these

systems include wikis, blogs, RSS and 3D virtual learning spaces.
Created for distance education, VLEs can be used also to supplement face-2-face classroom.
A VLE should make it possible for a course designer to present to students, through a single,

consistent and intuitive interface, all the components required for a course of education or

training. Although logically it is not a requirement, in practice VLEs always make extensive

use of computers and the Internet. A VLE should implement all the following elements:

the syllabus for the course;

administrative information including the location of sessions, details of pre-requisites

and co-requisites, credit information, and how to get help;

a notice board for up-to-date course information;

student registration and tracking facilities, if necessary with payment options;

basic teaching materials (these may be the complete content of the course, if the VLE

is being used in a distance learning context, or copies of visual aids used in lectures or

other classes where it is being used to support a campus-based course);

additional resources, including reading materials, and links to outside resources in

libraries and on the Internet;

self-assessment quizzes which can be scored automatically;

formal assessment procedures;

electronic communication support including e-mail, threaded discussions and a chat

room, with or without a moderator;

differential access rights for instructors and students;

production of documentation and statistics on the course in the format required for

institutional administration and quality control;

all these facilities should be capable of being hyperlinked together;

easy authoring tools for creating the necessary documents including the insertion of

hyperlinks.
In addition, the VLE should be capable of supporting numerous courses, so that students and

instructors in a given institution and across different institutions experience a consistent

interface when moving from one course to another.
»
Given the aforementioned definitions, care must be used in order to find the best fitting product so

that the task goals can be obtained while guaranteeing the possibility to implement new useful

features if needed.
6
Such e-learning systems are sometimes also called Learning Management Systems (LMSs), Course Management

System (CMSs), Learning Content Management System (LCMSs), Managed Learning Environment (MLEs),

Learning Support Systems (LSSs), Online Learning Centres (OLCs) or Learning Platforms (LPs).
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3.3.1.1
Available platforms
Here we examine some platforms that could be employed, making the difference mainly between

open source and proprietary ones.
We also stress that even if some platforms are also free of charge (i.e. not commercial, that is to say

that they are distributed and can be used under some special license agreement, such as GPL3,

GPL2, Creative Commons, BSD, MIT, etc.), each platform will still have a cost:

data centre staff to install and maintain applications;

custom programming;

commercial add-ons;

personnel training.
3.3.1.2
Content Management Systems
Open Source CMSs
As can be seen in
Appendix

7.1.2
, a plethora of open source CMSs are available.
In the case of Open Source products, it's important to look functionality but also to updates

frequency, to the users community activity and to the availability of professional support, if needed.
Among the list the following products were given more attention:

Alfresco, commercial;

DotNetNuke, commercial;

Drupal, GPL license;

Joomla!, GPL license;

Plone, GPL license
.
As found in “
http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/10/08/41TC-open-source-cms_1.html
”:
«In summary:

Drupal has a following and special features, such as taxonomies, but somehow weaker

CMS functions and a somewhat unfriendly development environment mean Drupal is

playing catch-up;

Joomla! seems a little behinf the other CMSs;

DotNetNuke is Windows only and as an ASP.Net application should be scalable but

has a real affinity for handling commerce activities;

Plone is a step above, combining multilingual features, workflow and automated

navigation;

Alfresco Community Edition seems better than the others, solely considering its

content management.
By following Plone documentation and tutorials, the visual design of the Plone site can be

updated in a few hours, using the Web Developer Extension for Firefox along with the

DIYPloneStyle download. More advanced functionality can be added with a few style sheet

changes.
Beneath Plone 3.0 there is a catalogue of features that check the integrity of your sites and

deliver a pleasant publishing experience. Plone link checking automatically alert if you try to

delete a page that other sites reference. Rules and versioning are useful but don't quite match

Alfresco.
»
Proprietary CMSs
Only free solutions are considered as CMSs. The reason is twofold:

allow to have a low cost platform lowering the expenses due to commercial products;
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guarantee, after a careful choice, the use of a platform with a large and active users base,

that can also offer the opportunity to grow a CMS group together with the aforementioned

(Task 2) Telecommunication Laboratory.
However a list of available proprietary CMSs is given in Appendix
7.1.3
.
3.3.1.3
Virtual Learning Environments
Open Source VLEs
Also in this case it's important to look to functionality but also to updates frequency, to the users

community activity and to the availability of professional support, if needed (as is the case of opens

source commercial packages). Here is a list of available Open Source VLEs:

ATutor,

web-based learning content management system;

Claroline

;

Dokeos

, e-learning and course management web application;

eFront, l

earning management system;

Fle3

;

ILIAS

, learning management system;

KEWL.nextgen

;

LON-CAPA

, learning management system with linked domains;

Moodle

, course management system;

OLAT

, learning management system;

Sakai Project,

collaboration and learning environment.
Among the list the following products were given more attention:

ATutor

Moodle

Sakai Project.
A description of the above mentioned products is available in Appendix
7.1.5
.
Proprietary VLEs
Here is a list of proprietary VLEs suppliers:

ANGEL_Learning


Blackboard


Desire2Learn



eCollege


Fronter


Scholar360


E-preceptor


it's learnin


NEXPORT Solutions

Among the list the products by Blackboard was given more attention. A description of the product

is available in Appendix
7.1.6
.
3.3.2
On
site

facilities
The
on site
available facilities shall guide into the choice of the platform and services to install. The

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status of the Universities shall be assessed with contacts between the GUNA Project and the chosen

Universities and with the results of the questionnaire to satisfy also the needs of smaller educational

institutions.
Thus a case study shall be performed and a classification shall be made, based on:

number of users
;

on site
employed database engines (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, MS, own DB);

on site
s
cripting language (PHP, Java, AJAX, Python, ASP, other);

on site
employed o
perating systems (Microsoft, Linux, Unix,
Mac OS, etc.);
with the aim to better encounter the experience of the long term maint
ainers.
3.3.3
Educational
material classification
Several different contents can be stored in the educational material repository, to form a “virtual

library” of knowledge:

scientific articles
7
;

reference documentation;

safety manuals;

lectures and classes, in several different media format:

e-papers (PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, presentation, etc.);

filmed lessons (H.263, H.264, etc.);

video conferences;

mixed images plus VoIP sessions;

home exercises;

seminars and conferences, again in several different media format:

e-papers (postscript, pdf, html, rtf, presentation, etc.);

filmed events (MP4, H.263, H.264, Flash, etc.);

video conferences;

mixed images plus VoIP sessions.
3.3.4
Database
size
estimation
The U
niversities activities shall set the size of the virtual library to be built up and maintained. The

database size estimation shall be assessed with contacts between the GUNA Project and the chosen

Universities and with the feedback of the questionnaire, in order to satisfy the needs of the other

institutions. The information needed is about:

number of departments

number of classes
To give a rough estimate of the database size we can make the following example: a 20 minutes

seminar can be about 40 MB in size with the following settings:

ShockWave Flash format;

14 fps;

200 ms keyframe;

22.1 kHz audio sampling rate;

320 kbps;

360 x 288 pixel resolution (compare with the 720 x 576 pixel resolution of common DVDs).
Thus a 50 hours class is about 6 GB hard drive space.
7
Here a particular care must be taken in order not to violate copyright statements.
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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3.3.5
Satellite
network
traffic estimation
Given the above numbers once known the number of departments and classes we shall have an

estimate of the network activity estimation as needed by the different campuses of the Universities.
3.3.6
Choices to be made under a cost vs performance perspective
The main choice is to use free and open source CMSs and VLEs, in order to lower the costs and

gain the experience of a large base of world users.
On site
personnel with experience on the chosen platform will lower also the training cost.
However the goal to have a video conferencing facility oblige to have a dedicated server for the

purpose, which raise the cost to roughly 60.000-70.000 $. Cost can be lowered if a data center is

already
on site
and can be used for back up purposes.
3.3.7
CDP
personnel
profile
The CDP personnel suggested profile shall allow the medium and long term proper functioning of

the platform.
The profile is as follows

spoken language:

English is mandatory, because it is the scientific and technical language used in

documentation;

French, Swahili or Arabian because they are the most common languages in the

countries of interest;

expertise in dynamic web pages (e.g. PHP, ASP, DHTML, Javascript);

expertise in web servers;

expertise in databases (e.g. MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, MS, SQL);

scripting abilities (i.e. shell, python, perl);

interests and skills in media capture and deployment.
3.3.8
Requested
CMS
and VLE personnel training
The CDP personnel shall be trained following the following program:

CMSs basics;

VLEs basics;

chosen plaftorms installation examples;

chosen platforms installation laboratory;
3.3.8.1
IT professional training
The person in charge of the platform shall be trained as well, following the below program:

chosen plaftorms scripting examples;

chosen platforms scripting laboratory;

modules and plugins development examples;

modules and plugins development laboratory.
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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3.4
Educational activities
3.4.1
Possible
candidate universities
41 African Universities have been identified on the base of the information provided by ICTP, i.e.

the document titled “List of Countries and Institutions of Regular and Senior Associate Members of

ICTP” and some additional Universities mentioned by prof. Onine.
They represent the possible candidate universities for the GUNA project.
The 41 possible candidate Universities are distributed in 19 countries, they are marked in red in

Figure 3
.
Figure
3
: Countries of the possible candidate universities (in red)
The list of the Universities is reported in
Table 9
.
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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UNIVERSITY
COUNTRY
Université d’Abomey-Calavi
Benin
University of Burundi
Burundi
University of Yaoundé
Cameroon
University of Yaoundé II
Cameroon
University of
Dschang
Cameroon
University of
Douala
Cameroon
University of
Buea
Cameroon
University of
Ngaoundéré
Cameroon
Marien Ngouabi University
Congo
University of Masuku
Gabon
Université des Sciences et Techniques de Masuku
Gabon
University of Cape Coast
Ghana
Kwame Nkrumah University, Kumasi
Ghana
University of Ghana, Legon Accra
Ghana
University of Conakry
Guinea
Insitut Superieur des Sciences del’education de Guinée, Conakry
Guinea
Universitè de Cocody, Abidjan
Ivory Coast
Maseno University
Kenya
University of Kenya , Nairobi
Kenya
National University of Lesotho
Lesotho
Université de Mahajanga
Madagascar
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Nigeria
University of Ibadan
Nigeria
University of Ilorin
Nigeria
University of Technology, Akure
Nigeria
Federal University of Technology, Minna,
Nigeria
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Nigeria
Adeku Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko
Nigeria
University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti
Nigeria
University of Kibungo, Kibungo
Rwanda
Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar
Senegal
Université Gaston Berger, Saint Louis
Senegal
Université de Ziguinchor
Senegal
University of Cape Town
South Africa
University of Juba, Khartoum
Sudan
University of Khartoum, Khartoum
Sudan
University for Science and Technology, Khartoum
Sudan
Al Neelain University, Khartoum
Sudan
University of Lomé, Lomé
Togo
University of Lusaka
Zambia
University of Zimbabwe, Harare
Zimbabwe
Table
9
: List of possible candidate universities
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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3.4.2
State
of the art analysis
3.4.2.1
First overview about the universities
In the pre-feasibility study, information about the 41 possible candidate universities listed in
Sec

3.4.1
has been searched in Internet. The aim of this search was to get a first idea of the state of these

universities in terms of:

Educational offer

Availability of online educational material
The aim of the feasibility study will be to deepen this analysis by means of the questionnaire (see

Sec.

3.4.3
) and by directly contacting the Universities.
As result of the search, it has been observed that
a large disparity among these Universities exists
,

with reference to:

The availability of online information (e.g. there are Universities with no website at all and

Universities with several online degree courses)

The degree courses organization (for example French-speaking Universities have very often,

in addition to the Faculties, the Ecole Normale Superieures, while the English-speaking

countries are organized in Faculties and/or Colleges)

The degree courses programmes (different names for similar degree courses and Faculties)

The geographical structure (some universities are made of more than one campus with large

distances among the campuses)

The educational offer (few universities have educational programme covering all the

disciplines, about a half of the universities have an engineering school)

Their size
It has to be noticed that it was difficult to directly compare the educational programmes, especially

for universities belonging to different countries. This has to be taken into account in the Feasibility

Study phase, when analysing the questionnaire results.
It also has to be noticed that just a half of the universities have apparently a programme in

Engineering. This should be taken into account when looking for technicians for taking care of the

network connection.
We believe that
the ability to tackle this diversity and consequently differentiate the Educational

Activities for the different scenarios will significantly affect the GUNA impact
. Strategies must be

defined, for example one could think of:

Grouping Universities with similar structure

Grouping Universities with complementary educational offer

Grouping Universities with complementary size (e.g. many small and one big university)

Act independently on each university (e.g. with personalized training of the lecturers)
The result of the overview about the universities is summarized in the tables below.
In the first table, a few parameters have been selected to describe the university situation:

size (number of students, number of professors),

number of Faculties,

availability of a website

availability of distance learning programmes;

availability of a Content Delivery Platform (CDP)

reference to a VSAT connection
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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A white cell mean we did not find this information for that University. The cells are expected to be

filled in with GUNA EA Feasibility Study, using the questionnaire outcome and asking directly the

university.
The results are shown
in
Table 10
.

Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
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UNIVERSITY
COUNTR
Y
LANG
UAGE
STUDEN
TS
PROFE
SSORS
FACULT
IES
GRAN
D

ECOL
ES
WEB
SITE
DISTA
NCE

LEAR
NING
CDP
VS
AT
Université

d’Abomey-
Calavi
Benin
French
6
Not

working
University of

Burundi
Burundi
French
250
20
2
Not

working
University of

Yaoundé
Cameroon
French
3
2
Not

working
University of

Yaoundé II
Cameroon
French
2
3
NO
Dschang
Cameroon
French
12000
(in 2000)
325
5
1 ?
YES
YES
Douala
Cameroon
French
6
3
YES
Buea
Cameroon
French
5
1
NO
Ngaoundéré
Cameroon
French
4
2
NO
Marien

Ngouabi

University
Congo
French
15000
575
(in 2005)
5
2
YES
University of

Masuku
Gabon
French
NO
Université des

Sciences et

Techniques de

Masuku
Gabon
French
700
1
1
NO
University of

Cape Coast
Ghana
English
17000,
20000

distance
3
5
YES
YES
Moodle
Kwame

Nkrumah

University,

Kumasi
Ghana
English
23000
6
YES
YES,
e-
learning
University of

Ghana, Legon

Accra
Ghana
English
29754
865
5
YES
KEWL.
NextGe
n (e-
learning
)
University of

Conakry
Guinea
French
NO
YES
Insitut

Superieur des

Sciences

del’education

de Guinée,

Conakry
Guinea
French
NO
Universitè de

Cocody,

Abidjan
Ivory Coast
53700
1355
13
YES
Maseno

University
Kenya
English
5000
3
4
YES
YES
YES
University of

Kenya , Nairobi
Kenya
English
22000 (in

2001/02)
9
YES
Online

Library
National

University of

Lesotho
Lesotho
English
7
YES
Online

Library
Université de

Mahajanga
Madagasca
r
French
2,000
(in 2008)
80
(in 2008)
3
YES
Moodle
Obafemi

Awolowo

University, Ile-
Ife
Nigeria
English
23000
1000
13
YES
YES
YES
University of

Ibadan
Nigeria
English
>20000

9
YES
YES
YES

(Plone,

college

of

Medeci
ne)
University of

Ilorin
Nigeria
English
> 20000
9
YES
University of

Technology,

Akure
Nigeria
English
12000
5
YES
Federal

Nigeria
English
14000
580
4
YES
Authors: F.Santarossa, F.Cervelli, A.Ukovich
26NOV08 – Rev.08
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University of

Technology,

Minna,
University of

Nigeria,

Nsukka
Nigeria
English
20747
(in 1996)
1213
14
YES
e-
Learnin
g -

Moodle
Adeku Ajasin

University,

Akungba

Akoko
Nigeria
English
7486
4
YES
Virtual

Library
University of

Ado-Ekiti,

Ado-Ekiti
Nigeria
English
9500
377
8
YES
University of

Kibungo,

Kibungo
Rwanda
English
NO
Université

Cheikh Anta

Diop de Dakar
Senegal
French
6
3
YES
YES
Université

Gaston Berger,

Saint Louis
Senegal
French
4500
YES
YES
Université de

Ziguinchor
Senegal
French
NO
University of

Cape Town
South

Africa
English
21562
730
YES
University of

Juba, Khartoum
Sudan
English
4
YES
University of

Khartoum,

Khartoum
Sudan
English
23000
1016
17
YES
University for

Science and

Technology,

Khartoum
Sudan
English
18
960
19

(college)
YES
Al Neelain

University,

Khartoum
Sudan
English
YES
University of

Lomé, Lomé
Togo
English
5
4
YES
YES

(Univer
sity of

Poitiers,

France)
University of

Lusaka
Zambia
English
9
YES
University of

Zimbabwe,

Harare
Zimbabwe
English
10139
(in 2001)
10
YES
Table
10
: Characteristics of the possible candidate universities