MTN, Huawei Target Rural Areas in Nigeria with Cheap Voice and Mobile Broadband Services

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ruralstar 2.0

Nigeria’s largest telecommunication company, MTN, in partnership with Chines Telco, Huawei has successfully completed the roll-out of cheaper voice and mobile broadband services on commercial basis for rural areas in Nigeria.

Named RuralStar 2.0, the project provides low-cost to long-distance voice and mobile broadband services to connect the unconnected in remote areas.

According to a statement by Huawei, “the voice and data traffic of the new deployed RuralStar 2.0 sites exceeds expectation”, which shows that there is huge demand for telecommunication services in remote areas of Nigeria and it is estimated that the Return On Investment period can be within three years.

What this Solution Would Mean for Rural Nigeria

Using low-band Non Line Of Sight Wireless Long Term Evolution (NLOS LTE) Relay, the RuralStar 2.0 allows site deployment locations to change from high towers to low poles with a height of only 12 m, reducing the site infrastructure construction cost by 70%.

Normally, constructing traditional Macro transmission sites are usually very expensive due to lack of regular power supply and poor infrastructure. This is why MTN and Huawei jointly churned out the Huawei’s RuralStar 2.0 solution to reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by 50% for a given target coverage area, in contrast with traditional site solutions.

RuralStar 2.0 allows for the single-hop transmission distance of up to 40 km
RuralStar 2.0 allows for the single-hop transmission distance of up to 40 km.

Also, low-band LTE Relay allows for the single-hop transmission distance of up to 40 km, and therefore can be used as a substitute for microwave transmission and the expensive traditional satellite narrowband transmission.

And guess what? RuralStar 2.0 uses pure solar energy for the power supply and runs using low power consumption equipment.

Speaking on the project, Cao Ming, Vice President of Huawei Wireless Network Product Line, said:

Everyone has the right to access the Internet. We are glad to see RuralStar improves villagers’ living standard. RuralStar aims to create a healthy business ecosystem and connect the unconnected in emerging markets. Huawei will work with the industry to eliminate the digital divide in emerging markets so that more people can enjoy the convenience brought by wireless communications and mobile Internet.

Nigeria has a population of 180 million, and more than half of them live in rural villages, which are typically scattered around vast grasslands or forests.
Nigeria has a population of 180 million, and more than half of them live in rural villages, which are typically scattered around vast grasslands or forests.

With a population of about 200 million and about half living in remote rural areas lagging behind in modern mobile connection, RuralStar 2.0 seems to be an ideal solution to connect the unconnected to the world around them.

 


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