The next billion cellular connections will come from rural areas in developing markets. However, building the cellular infrastructure in these regions presents radically different challenges from building networks in urban areas:
- The power grid in these areas is unreliable, if it exists at all.
- There is no wired telecom infrastructure to run the network backbone of the cellular network.
- The large distance over poor roads makes site maintenance time consuming and expensive.
- There is little local skilled labor to support the site maintenance.
Vanu has addressed all of these challenges with the CompactRAN™. The benefits of the CompactRAN platform are:
- Consumes only 50W of power while transmitting two GSM carriers, enabling it to run off of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind for extended periods of time.
- Solar powered to provide coverage where there is no power grid.
- Utilizes a latency and jitter tolerant packet-based IP backhaul, enabling the infrastructure to use a wide variety of media for backhaul including microwave, wireless broadband, cable modem, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), and satellite connections.
- Software radio architecture allows for standards upgrades and bug fixes to be downloaded remotely. Vanu has performed over the air satellite upgrades from voice to data for a customer in the remote areas of Nepal.
- Maintenance is simplified through remote monitoring and software upgrades. Hardware fixes are simple swap-outs, that do not require specific technical training.
The CompactRAN is the lightest outdoor base station on the market, weighing less than 4 kg. The small form factor allows for simplified mounting on poles and alternative structures, eliminates the need to place equipment on the ground, and greatly simplifies tower construction requirements.
The current version of the CompactRAN platform supports GSM/EDGE or simultaneous GSM/EDGE and CDMA operation.