- Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network
Infobox wifi network
abbreviation = AWMN
full = Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network
url = http://www.awmn.net/
commercial = No
country = Greece
area = attica
users = (aprox.) 3000
operational = Yes
nodesurl = http://wind.awmn.net
Founded on 2002 in
Athens Greece, Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN) is a grassrootwireless community, taking advantage of new, state of the art wireless technologies, to connect people and services. Its members are node owners, comprising the Athens metropolitan area network, which is open to everyone who wants to participate. More than 2380 members are already connected and more than 8,000 people have stated their intention to connect in the near future (as of September, 2008). [ [http://wind.awmn.net/?session_lang=english Wireless Nodes Database Statistics] ]
A.W.M.N. aims to promote wireless communications as well as bidirectional broadband digital telecommunication services to the general public as a
non-profitactivity, in cooperation with educational institutions, state authorities and other grassroot wireless communities in Greece. [ [http://www.awmn.net/index_en.php?id=description_en Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network Official Site] ]
Its aims include:
* To establish, develop and maintain a community wireless network connecting people and services.
* To develop technologies based on
wirelessand digital telecommunications
* To train people in the usage of wireless and digital telecommunications.
* To promote and encourage
volunteerismand active participation
Cultural and Geographical Context
The network began in
Athens, the capital of Greecebut its activities are not limited to there. It covers a geographical area (110 km from North to South and 85km from West to East) whose southern most point is Palaia Epidavros ( Epidaurus) and whose northern most point is the town of Nea Artakion the island of Euboea. [ [http://wind.awmn.net/?page=nodes Online Nodes Map] ] The extension of the network allows isolated areas with poor technological infrastructure to connect with the Athens network, thus allowing access to the services provided by the main network. Already the islands of Euboea, Aegina, Salaminaand the regions surrounding Athens have connected to the network. In anticipation of connecting to AWMN, small wireless ‘islets’ have been created in other cities and on other islands where AWMN has contributed to the technical know-how and equipment. Recently the island of Euboeaconnected with AWMN and the next stage will be the connection of the wireless ‘islets’ located in Corinth, Lamia (city)and Volos. For wireless ‘islets’ and communities for which direct connection to the wireless system is impossible, specially chosen points have been chosen which, through the use of conventional technology (fast ADSLor SDSLlines), connect to high speed lines with limited services ( VoIP, httpbrowsing). There are also plans to reach even more remote cities of Greece such as Patras.
AWMN’s foundation as a community dates back to 2002. Due to the tremendous problems with broadband services in Greece in 2002 the number of broadband services available to home users was extremely limited. It was mainly due to this problem that AWMN was founded as an alternative
broadbandnetwork, which allowed its users to experience real broadband services. However after a short period from its “birth” AWMN started to change. An increasing number of people started to have an interest in the network, expressing their interest in joining this project. Very soon the number of network nodes started to grow exponentially, and the network’s character changed from an alternative telecom network to a social network of people based on their interest in the IT/Telecom sector.
Due to the nature of the AWMN it can be considered a network of people for the people. Within the AWMN community personal relationships play a very active role in the network development encouraging the members of the network to have a more active role in the community’s social life.From the start of the project, care was taken to found the
non-profitAWMN association and to build on a sound basis. The association with over 200 active members comprises the official face of the network and coordinates the working groups. Membership to the network is open to all. Not all members of the network are obliged to become members of the association. However, they are obliged to accept responsibility for the smooth running of their node and follow the basic rules of the community (this forms an in informal criterion of their selection for connection to other nodes).
The network members form a mosaic of people of varying ages and high educational background which, includes IT and telecommunications professionals, radio amateurs, IT students and technology enthusiasts. All members are driven by a strong community spirit and contribute on a voluntary basis. [ [http://www.hellaswifi.gr/node/96 AWMN: the soft factor] ] [ [http://www.hellaswifi.gr/sites/default/files/Motivations%20of%20Wireless%20Community%20Participants.pdf | M. Bina and G.M. Giaglis. Motivations of Wireless Community Participants. Abstract of Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business, p4, 2006.] ]
Technology-wise, AWMN makes extensive use of the
IEEE 802.11xset of standards and operates on the 2.4 GHzand 5.4 GHzlicense-free ISMfrequency bands. Over the last few years A.W.M.N. has tested (and later used in production environments) equipment from a huge variety of vendors.
The routing protocol used by the network is
BGP. Strives have been made towards new, more adaptive and experimental protocols such as OLSRand many members of the AWMN community have contributed feedback and code to many Linuxrouting projects.
Homemaking of equipment is encouraged; a great number of
workshopshave been held in order for members to become familiar with constructing their own aerials and cables. In addition, the community regularly organizes seminars in order to educate aspiring network administrators on wireless technology, protocols, routingand Linux, in real conditions of a large-scale network.
AWMN relies heavily on Free Libre/Open-Source Software.
GNU/ Linux(or other free Unixvariants) is the operating system of choice for most servers actively serving the network, and other FL/OSS has made the ever-increasing number of services available, possible.
Solutions and Services
The problem that AWMN came to solve in the greater area of Athens was that of broadband telecommunication among the participants of the network. To start of with the AWMN forum came to life where all the community members would exchange ideas, arrange meetings, arrange wireless links and discuss various points of interest. Nowhere days the services provided by the network have evolved to full a featured internal
VoIPnetwork, game servers, file sharingservices, hundreds of users/nodes webpages, network statistics services, routing, network monitoring, weather stations, VPNservers and just about anything and any service that someone would come across on the Internet.
As a highlight we should mention the WiND project. As a large-scale network and community, AWMN has the need for a central management tool for displaying important nodes details. WiND (Wireless Nodes Database) is a
Web Applicationtargeted at Wireless Community Networks, such AWMN. It has been created by members of AWMN. WiND provides a front-end interface to a databasewhere various information on wireless network nodes can be stored, such as position details, DNS information, IP addressingand a list of provided network services. [ [http://wind.awmn.net/?page=services&session_lang=english List of services] ]
* List of wireless community networks
Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network/Photo album
WiND - Wireless Nodes Database
* Thessaloniki's Wireless Metropolitan Network (TWMN)
* Wireless Thessaloniki (WThess) Network
* Patras Wireless Metropolitan Network (PWMN)
Heraklion Student Wireless Network
* Imathia Wireless Metropolitan Network (IWMN)
* [http://www.ptawug.co.za Pretoria Wireless User Group (PTAWUG)]
* [http://www.awmn.net/index_en.php non profit wireless community site]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMA-nbkKP8o YouTube Video Presentation]
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