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Coolab team and Krahô volunteers working on setting up the BTS structure

After having practiced in the classroom, Wôôcô was able to wire-up and connect all the parts by himself.

By the end of a very busy day we had everything wired and the BTS resting safely on it's pole on top of the association's roof.

BTS on a pole on top of the Kajre Association house

But unfortunately the setup failed for two reasons:

  • at the last minute the BSC stopped communicating with the BTS
  • we had the wrong antenna setup

While playing with the BTS and giving the workshops in the classrooms we were turning on the machine without adding the antennas, as the transmitting power is very high and can be harmful.

Before the BSC stopped communicating, we had everything installed on the right place and running for a while. We finally added the panel antenna, but the range was even shorter then without it.

We still don't know the exact cause, as we haven't had the time to investigate again since it. But when the BSC also started failing, the sun was already starting to fade away and we were all very tired from days of workshop, traveling around the territory, and the full-day setup.

Uncertain that we would be reimbursed for the trip we had to leave the next day, a bit unhappy that we were not able to leave a working 2G community network, but also with many lessons learned, both about the technical parts, but most importantly about the human parts of dealing and organizing with the community.

Today, several months later, our Krahô partner Wôôcô is still very excited about the network and has been making an effort to write a project explaining the needs of the community and has even bigger dreams of connecting more distant, strategic parts of the territory

I hope we continue working with them and have the opportunity to get some funding to try executing what might be the first community cellular network in Brasil.

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