DAK Net is also known as the “Village Network”. It is an adhoc network which provides wireless technology. This helps in digital connectivity in rural areas. In this article, we will discuss about what is DAK Net, How it works, its architecture, applications, advantages and disadvantages.
What is DAK Net
DAK Net is the term derived from the Hindi (an Indian Language) word DAK meaning Post which is a form of communicating a message in the form of mail. This form of communication is through a Wireless Network providing internet at a low cost to the rural areas. Even though this is not a permanent internet service, it connects the rural areas to the urban. This concept was developed by the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) alumni, also the co-founders of First Mile Solutions, Richard Fletcher and Amir Alexander Hasson.
Fig. 1 – Introduction to DAK Net
The Ad-hoc Network in the existing communication and distribution of the relayed infrastructure of digital connectivity is provided to the villages with no such facilities. The network is the cluster of terminals (also known as the autonomous nodes) communicating with other terminals. They form a multi hop Radio connection along with maintaining the connection in a localized way. The data is transmitted point to point between the Kiosks and Portable devices with storage facilities called the Mobile Access Point (MAP).
Fig. 2 – Example of Ad-hoc Network in DAK Net
DAK Net Architecture
Network software has a unique feature of distributing the bandwidth from the internet connection. The concept of connecting the area with the wireless up-links of MAP (Mobile Access Point) which is attached to the transportation modes driven by Wi-Fi.
The DAK Net Architecture has three main components, namely:
- Mobile Access Point
The devices require a common connection point which is provided by the HUB which connects the LAN segments. The feature provides multiple ports. When the vehicle passes through an Internet Access Point, it includes all the data from the various kiosks with the help of the internet.
Hub accepts the input and broadcasts the information to all the other nodes (devices) in the network without any change.
Fig. 3 – The Hub in DAK Net
A Kiosk is placed in a booth acting as an agent who provides the internet services to the required area. There is Kiosk which is placed at regular terminals in the rural areas. These require an interface to enable users to enter the information on the same device. For the Kiosk providing the internet, there are amplifiers provided to support the signal.
Fig. 4 – (a) Wireless Kiosk (b) Coin Operated Wi-Fi Kiosk
Mobile Access Point
MAP stands for Mobile Access Point. It is the data transferred in the short point links. The Mobile Access Point helps to transmit the data which is collected and delivered automatically from the Kiosk and network. The data is transferred by low cost Wi-Fi radios and automatically stored at a high bandwidth for the connection. The MAP is placed on the transportation vehicles which cross the villages to provide the ‘Store’ and ‘Forward’ connectivity.
Fig. 5 – Mobile Access Point
How does DAK Net Work
The process of implementation starts with arranging the up-link HUB with the server, which is connected to the real time nodes either through repeaters or directly. Post this channel, they install to the Mobile Access Points which is stored and pushed forward the nodes which leads to network testing and troubleshooting along with training.
Implementation of DAK Net requires Mobile Access Points to be installed on moving vehicles like any 2- Wheeler or 4- Wheeler. They are generally powered by battery or solar panels. Kiosks are installed at public places. They are equipped with latest features and interactive interface which helps the users to efficiently utilize the facilities. Hubs are connected to Kiosks so that transfer of information is done effectively. People can access the internet through Kiosks when MAP equipped vehicle is in the range of Hub because Mobile Access Point transfers or receive data from Kiosks or Hubs.
Fig. 6 – Implementation of DAK Net
When the MAP equipped vehicle comes within the range of a village Wi-Fi enabled kiosk and the Hub, it automatically senses the wireless connection and synchronizes the data from all the rural kiosks, using the Internet and thus data transfer takes place.
Applications of DAK Net
The Applications of DAK Net include:
- Internet and Intranet messaging which may include uploading and downloading data (audio-video) and e-mail.
- Users can have access to mobile e-commerce applications.
- They can also have access to e-Gov applications (Apps) which are very secure and helpful.
Advantages of DAK Net
The process of connecting the villages to the urban population has created a lot of advantages to the population. They are:
- As it is a wireless service, it is easy to expand on the network coverage across the village with no cables for installation. This helps in more connectivity to the people
- It is cost effective as it uses the unlicensed part of the Radio Spectrum which bring to reduced licensing fees and regulatory challenges
- The implementation process does not require any wires or cables, there is no installation cost involved or maintenance needed
- There is a stable bandwidth provided to the customers. There is no increase or decline in the bandwidth speed
- The concept of seed infrastructure creates an easy implementation of DAK Net across the villages
- Utilizing low cost materials makes the whole process cost effective
- The connectivity works from point to point with less interference issues. This creates no loss of information
Disadvantages of DAK Net
Having provided many advantages, DAK Net provides a major disadvantage of not being a real time internet service. Apart from this there are other drawbacks which are discussed below:
- Some applications such as VOIP are not supported by the network
- The view of some of the sites such as the context customized web pages which are found on advanced sites cannot be viewed since they are unsupported
- Forms which have to be downloaded and filled from the e–commerce sites become cumbersome and problematic to use
- Asynchronous web provides no effective surfing technique
- Here the Token Ring concept is used to handle the collision. Any problems created in the lower tier will shut down the whole process
- Due to its complicity, expert guidance is required for the villagers to understand the use of the Kiosk
- There is limited storage space in the Kiosk
- There are issues arising in the connection between Hub and MAP