Business model

The deployment of wireless community networks at Telecentres across Uganda will change their current roles as suppliers of Internet access. Now the Telecentres often offer Internet services as a Internet Cafe's where each customer pays a small fee for access the Internet for a limited amount of time. By expanding the network and connect surrounding partners to the Internet will might give them a more stable income per month in terms of fix fees but also reduces the amount of individuals that are visiting the Telecentre. As the Telecentres becomes Wireless ISP's or WISPs.

The main goal of the Telecentres acting as WISP should not be the benefit from re-selling bandwidth, but rather be able to increase their subscribed capacity and contractual conditions at better rates. A business model that is able to accommodate the new comers to the network must be set up.
It is also important to mention, that the creation of wide area networks by means of outdoor wireless links should enable new add-on services. The operational costs of the Intranet are much lower that any services that require international Internet bandwidth. Internal services as Voice over IP, exchange of community related information should be explored.

An initial suggestion is to set up a fix fee per month for each client (partner). This fee will determine the amount of international bandwidth or a certain amount of data transferred. Nowadays, most WISP use a combination of both. i.e a fix fee for certain bandwidth until a
certain quota of data is transferred. Thereafter, a free per Mb data or similar is applied.

Add-on services that can be offered/explore in order to bring extra revenue to the WISP could be:

  • Local mail accounts
  • Web space with content management systems and database support
  • Ftp account
  • VoIP and VoiceMail in the Intranet

The business/partnership model is to be delivered by the CWRC in September 2006.