Mondi Melmoth Project

Based on the success and stability of the wireless links we implemented for Mondi Forestry in the Midlands (Richmond, Mountain Home, New Hanover and Boscome offices) and Piet Retief (Piet Retief, Nursery and Paul Pietersburg office) regions, Mondi Limited requested that we investigate the possibility of connecting their Forestry offices in the Melmoth region back to the Mondi Paper Mill in Richardsbay. The Melmoth region consists of the Melmoth, Garfield, Babanango and Tygers offices. Over the last 2 years we have conducted several site surveys where we scouted and approached several possible high site owners in the region for approval of using their sites for the Mondi proposed network, we also worked closely together with Mondi Forestry Division to obtain information on the location of all their fire outlooks. Once all information was confirmed we planned the best possible network layout with the least amount of hops to each site as well as with the best possible Fresnel zone clearance to obtain maximum throughput and availability based on several path profiles that were done using different application software.

Once the theoretical layout was confirmed we set up test links to ensure the equipment that Mondi requested we use, could in fact cater for a link distance of 72km point to point. Testing was successful and a final proposal on the layout of the network was done to Mondi which they accepted. The network was installed over a 2 month period with several delays due to bad weather as well as minor alterations to physical location of equipment at the Mondi field offices. We also installed battery backup solutions at all the high sites with Solar power at the Mondi Tygers fire outlook. In total the wireless network covers a distance of 218 kilometres, this is when calculating the point to point distance between antennas for all 11 radio links with the two longest point to point links measured at 72km and 69km respectively. The travel distance between sites are actually double the distance of the point to point measurements between antennas due to the geographical layout of this region with all its mountains and rural areas. Tests on the throughput was conducted and 1Mbps Full Duplex are achieved to each site when testing them concurrently with emails and forestry applications accessed instantaneously in Richardsbay where all the servers are located. The respective sites were connected at 128kbps previously.