June 30, 2015 — NuRAN Wireless Inc today announced that GSM LiteCell, its low-power (54W), low-OPEX GSM base station has been deployed in 16 villages in Mexico with more deployments expected.
The villages are located in the state of Oaxaca in South West Mexico and have adopted a community-based model whereby each village has decided it needs coverage, has paid for the equipment as a group and is managing the billing and operations of the network.
The deployments have been coordinated by Nuran Wireless’ long-term customer, Rhizomatica, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to increasing access to mobile telecommunications for those without affordable coverage, or any coverage at all.
Rhizomatica’s founder and CEO Peter Bloom said: “NuRAN Wireless has developed the perfect base station for our village networks. It is easy to install and maintain and extremely cost-effective. With a minimum subscriber base of around 200, our village networks are financially sustainable or even profitable after a few months despite the low cost of service for the subscriber.”
According to the telecoms industry body, the GSMA, around 1.5 billion people in emerging markets are still not covered by a reliable cellular network and are unable to make a simple voice call. GSMA Intelligence also states “2G technology still accounts for 58.5 per cent of the world’s 7.11 billion mobile connections, compared to 32.5 per cent for 3G and 9 per cent for 4G. The analyst house expects 2G technology to maintain global market dominance until the beginning of 2019.”
The underlying reasons have been widely documented: Traditional telephone technology developed in the West was designed for densely populated, prosperous markets. It is not suitable for the unique challenges posed by remote rural areas; it is too expensive, uses too much power and needs highly skilled engineers to deploy and maintain.
NuRAN Wireless has filled a large gap in the telecoms market. Its GSM LiteCell base station has been designed specifically for use in rural and low-density, lower-ARPU urban areas.
Despite being a relatively new entrant into the rural GSM market, NuRAN’s GSM LiteCell has also been deployed in Africa and Asia by a number of operators that want to provide voice coverage to villages in rural areas not currently covered by any kind of voice or data network – and in urban areas where there are still opportunities to provide an affordable service to lower-ARPU customers.
Wireless ISPs providing data in rural are also examining GSM LiteCell in order to add reliable voice services to their portfolio
Francis Letourneau, Vice-President Sales and Marketing at NuRAN Wireless, said “Facebook is aiming to provide internet connectivity to rural areas. We, however, are focusing on enabling people in these areas to actually make a phone call from their homes and businesses first.
We’ve spent several years researching the unique cellular needs of lower-ARPU markets and our system makes it possible to build and maintain profitable networks in areas which operators have avoided so far.”
NuRAN Wireless’ GSM LiteCell includes the following features:
- Requires just 54W and can be powered by solar, grid electricity or generators
- Contains two TRX which enable up to 30 simultaneous calls
- Up to 12 kilometer radius for each GSM LiteCell
- An all-IP interface makes it easy to connect to any type of backhaul, including DSL, microwave, and satellite
- On-site BSC and network reduces the amount of traffic exchanged on the backhaul and increases tolerance to latency
- The compact size and simplicity of the LiteCell makes it possible for a single, untrained person to perform the site installation – with minimal ongoing maintenance .
About NuRAN Wireless
NuRAN Wireless is a leading supplier of mobile and broadband wireless solutions. Its innovative GSM, LTE, and White Space radio access network (RAN) products dramatically drop the total cost of ownership, thereby creating new opportunities for mobile network operators and internet service providers.
The company provides a variety of specialist systems for indoor coverage, rural and urban connectivity in emerging markets, connectivity to offshore platforms and ships, and for emergency and crisis communications.