Intel in a wireless safari

Intel Corp.’s South Africa unit Friday launched its Wi-Fi safari, which will see a nine-person team spend 12 days on safari in Botswana, Zambia and Namibia, while maintaining wireless communications with their respective offices back home.

The aim of the trip is to prove that people can work wirelessly and securely, wherever they are.

The team of nine includes two members of the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG), who will both be away during the OAG’s critical month-end period. Both will be working while they are away — interfacing with the department’s ERP system, from the wildest wilds.

The OAG was selected for the case study firstly because of the sensitive nature of the data it transfers, and thus the critical need for secure communications, which made it ideal for case study purposes. Secondly, it has a team of 1 400 auditors working in the field, and, as such, wireless technology is particularly relevant to its sphere of operations.

The team will visit Victoria Falls, Tsidilo Hills, the Okovango Swamps and the central Kalahari on its travels, and will be equipped with a satellite phone, HP Intel Centrino notebooks with integrated Wi-Fi, UPS, generators, satellite dish and the usual camping equipment.

The major challenges the team expects to face including getting across Africa’s notoriously tricky border posts, the lack of power in most of the camp sites, Internet connectivity, having to complete the trip before Nov. 3 and flooding, high temperatures and the risk of malaria.

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