The primary challenge in extending wireless broadband coverage to rural areas in developing markets is economics. The revenue in rural per site is lower due to lower incomes and more disperse population, while the cost of running the sites is higher primarily due to the need to run diesel on off-grid sites in these areas. Lowering network operating costs is essential to achieving the goal of universal coverage. Even if the network equipment and installation were completely free, this would not result in greater rural developing market coverage, since that network would still lose money every day that it is in operation.
Vanu addresses the problem by combining innovative technology with an innovative business model in three aspects:
- We build wholesale wireless networks, so we do not have subscribers, but work in partnership with existing carriers;
- We eliminate the cost, security, and environmental problems of diesel, with industry-leading efficiency and lowest power consumption base station, which consumes only 50 watts of power while transmitting 10 watts enabling operation on only solar and battery;
- Using small cell technologies, we focus coverage where people live, work, and commute.
Combined, these factors lead to different network designs that achieve high levels of network access with operating expenses low enough to enable sustainable coverage despite comparatively low population densities and low revenue per user.