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Recent visit to Peru

April 29, 2008

The reason for the recent lack of posts has been a business trip to Peru that I made in early April. The preparation, trip and the catching up with work afterwards has kept me busy. In fact I have spent very little time in the shack recently.

The trip to Peru was quite amazing. I visited an institution in the Andes and was at height of around 3,600m (close to 12,000ft). High enough for my hosts to warn me about altitude sickness. I did not have time to operate on any of the amateur bands from there, as there were talks to give and plenty of traveling which kept me busy. That said, I expect to go back and so will investigate the possibilities of using reciprocal licensing and operating from there in the future. The people were very friendly and my hosts made my stay a pleasure. The scenery in the Andes was stunning.  The photograph above was taken when driving from Huancavelica to Pampas early one morning.

One interesting point to note was the wide use of cellphones in Peru, even in the more remote locations. A recent report cites the mobile phone market will penetrate to 70% by the end of 2008. This is such a popular form of communication it has resulted in the need to add an extra digit to all Peruvian cell numbers. This occurred on the day of my arrival and there was a temporary disruption to cell phone services. The country’s communication infrastructure has been undergoing a critical review following the collapse of communications following last year’s deadly earthquake.

Although I did not operate at all in Peru. I did look out for antennas. I noticed at Lima airport a very impressive HF log periodic (it looked like 20 elements) that appeared to be used by the coast guard (it was near to a group of their helicopters and pointed directly out to the Pacific). As well I noticed folded dipoles mounted near many police stations and at the airports, mostly in an inverted-V configuration.

An exciting visit and I expect to go back.

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