Range Networks and UC Berkeley Deliver Low Cost Cellular Service to Rural Indonesia

Rural Community Empowered to Make Local Calls and Send Global SMS for the First Time

May 20, 2013, 08:00 ET from Range Networks

SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/-- Range Networks, the leading provider of American-made commercial open source cellular systems, today announced the deployment of a cellular network to rural Papua, Indonesia. The deployment is made possible by Range Networks' collaboration with UC Berkeley's Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions (TIER) research group. The network was deployed for one-tenth the price of traditional equipment and after two months of successful operation, the network is profitable and helps fund a local school. TIER Researcher Kurtis Heimerl led the project.

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  • Ultra low power consumption: The network is powered by a small (5kVA) hydroelectric generator.
  • Local voice and global SMS service: Over 140 users are connected to the service, which provides coverage to the central village and another town about a mile away. The deployment provides a maximum five kilometer radius of coverage.
  • Reduced cost and complexity:  Range Networks' hardware slashed implementation and maintenance costs by reducing the network architectural components and the need to backhaul local calls. OpenBTS, Range Networks Radio Access Network (RAN) platform, allows expensive VSAT backhaul to be minimized by keeping local calls local. In this case, VSAT is only used to provide global SMS service.

In mid-2012 a wireless Internet service provider in rural Papua contacted the TIER group about setting up a low power GSM base station in a remote village in the Central Highlands of Papua. The village is a 4-hour drive from the nearest town with cellular service. The team used a customized 10W Range Networks 5150 BTS mounted in a weatherproof box to provide voice and SMS service.


Kurtis Heimerl, Lead Researcher, UC Berkeley – TIER Research Group said:
"With Range Networks equipment we can provide significantly more value to rural users than traditional GSM deployments."

Shaddi Hasan, Researcher, UC Berkeley – TIER Research Group said:
"It was up and running in a day at one-tenth the cost of traditional cellular equipment, but where it really shines is its low power consumption."

David Burgess, CEO, Range Networks, Co-Inventor of the OpenBTS Project said:
"Underserved markets around the world are looking for solutions that provide affordable, reliable and easy-to-deploy cellular network equipment. We're excited to partner with UC Berkeley TIER to bring service to rural Papua."

OpenBTS Project - http://openbts.org
TIER Research Group- http://tier.cs.berkeley.edu

About Range Networks
Range Networks is the future of cellular networks. Founded by the inventors of OpenBTS, the Company provides the only commercial open source cellular system. Range Networks' products are made in the U.S.A., and are simple to deploy and manage at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions. Based on open standards, Range Networks provides connectivity to existing 2G/3G and 4G networks to rural communities, remote outposts and emergency crews. Additional information is available at: www.rangenetworks.com.

About TIER
TIER is a research group at UC Berkeley that investigates the design and deployment of new technologies for emerging regions. TIER aims to address challenges in bringing the Information Technology revolution to the masses of the developing regions of the world. Historically, most projects that aim to do this rely on technology that was developed for the affluent world, but these imported technologies fail to address key challenges in cost, deployment, power consumption, and support for semi- and illiterate users. Additional information is available at: http://tier.cs.berkeley.edu

Kim Dearborn
Nadel Phelan, Inc.

SOURCE Range Networks


http:// www.rangenetworks.com