This article was originally published on MyBroadband
Over the past 20 years, connectivity has changed almost every facet of our daily lives – from the way we manage household expenses to the way children learn at school or at home.
According to the 2018 Global Digital suite of reports, the world’s Internet users have passed the 4 billion mark – however, Parallel Wireless states that 4.4 billion of the world’s population are still unconnected.
These stats present an opportunity for mobile operators to deliver new coverage around the world in unconnected places.
Of course, service providers are aware of the benefits mobile coverage presents, but when it comes to deploying new coverage, operators are hesitant as they are faced with cost and infrastructure challenges.
Challenges for mobile operators
Ongoing operational expenses and capital expenses of equipment investment and installation often arise before operators even start providing the service.
These expenses include the cost of getting site acquisitions, permissions from local government, and the cost associated with rolling out the backhaul.
More specifically, operational expenses include the costs associated with making sure the network works, electricity bills are paid, and the service provided to end-users will retain and generate loyal customers.
A lack of basic infrastructure poses another challenge, notably in rural areas that do not have backhaul access and a power supply. Furthermore, the cost and complexity of maintaining a cellular solution means operators will need onsite personnel in remote areas when their service goes down.
This not only takes up time, but is costly for operators. For this reason, operators need to modernise their cellular networks virtually, through one simple solution.
Addressing the challenges
Only a few years ago, the Internet was declared as a basic human right, but in the telecoms industry, rural markets face low average revenue per user, and service providers cannot justify the investment to deploy new coverage as a result.
“If solutions are cost-effective for service providers, they will be able to extend that to the end-users,” said Lux Maharaj, Parallel Wireless Africa Sales Director.
Parallel Wireless addresses this market challenge by bringing service providers to customers in lesser-reached areas, delivering Internet connectivity through a single, cost-effective solution.
Parallel Wireless is a leader in connectivity services, and connects people with end-to-end 2G, 3G, and 4G Open RAN solutions, while reimagining the networks and building products that will enable and accelerate a long-term transition to a connected world.
The company innovates with the purpose of simplifying cellular infrastructure and allows new coverage deployments at much lower costs, while connecting previously-unconnected locations and people.
“The challenge right now is that many people are unconnected in Africa, and the situation is the same in many parts in Latin America and even in the US,” said Maharaj. “This is often due to economic reasons, as some people simply cannot afford it, or it could be as a result of service providers that can’t provide Internet to those areas.”
Parallel Wireless has brought two solutions to the market that are already being deployed globally, and serve to eliminate these challenges, reduce the site footprint, and provide access to backhaul and a power supply. The solutions include:
- Converged Wireless System (CWS): The CWS is a base station built with commodity-off-the-shelf (COTS) components that integrate 3G and 4G access in the same form factor. It is much smaller than traditional connectivity solutions and base stations, and significantly reduces the site footprint. It can easily be installed anywhere, deployed within a day, and brings coverage to a whole village.
- HetNet Gateway (HNG): HetNet Gateway is a software piece that makes a network self-optimising and self-configuring. It enables an Open RAN architecture to simplify network management and integration of new RAN products into the core of the network. The end-user only needs power and a backhaul connection, and the HetNet gateway makes the network operational within an hour.
By installing CWS base stations, Parallel Wireless has been able to provide coverage and data traffic to rural areas in Peru. “In Africa, however, there is even less access to backhaul and electricity,” said Maharaj. “Many end-users in Africa prefer 4G, and so mobile operators are often hesitant to deploy 2G.”
The solution, then, needs to be easy to deploy and install, have a small footprint, and have 2G while being easily upgradable to 4G.
Parallel Wireless reduces the cost for mobile operators to upgrade to 4G in any type of environment, and especially hard-to-reach areas, improving the quality of life of people in remote communities and rural areas.
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