Expanding 4G coverage across the globe
About half of the people in the world have zero or poor internet connectivity – which is a major disadvantage in our rapidly modernizing and digital world. The traditional model for providing coverage by building base stations is expensive and often impractical in remote areas. If we want to bring good mobile internet to communities and companies across the globe, a new approach is needed.
The new community hosted network by Nokia integrates with existing operator networks to provide 4G/5G mobile coverage to underdeveloped and rural areas, as well as to black spots in cities like underground structures. It uses easy to install miniature base stations that can be set up in just 15 minutes. And, unlike WiFi-based solutions, the solution offers carrier-grade equipment and industry-standard technologies to provide better coverage and security. The community hosted network was created as a joint project between Nokia and Reaktor.
- Brings coverage to people and industries in black spots around the world – as well as more customers and better brand value for operators
- Requires minimal capital expenditure or operating expenses for operators
- Seamless network integration uses existing infrastructure as a backhaul and power solution
- Self-service installation and cloud-based remote management ensure a robust and user-friendly solution
How it works
Quick plug and play installation
The end user requests a base station kit – after receiving it, they can install it in just 15 minutes.
Works with existing infrastructure
The solution uses any available internet connection and power source to create a mobile 4G connection. If there is no internet, the providers can offer a backhaul connectivity solution as well.
Automated network management
The cloud-based Operating Support System (OSS) enables remote operational support and management for a robust solution.
Good coverage and security with 4G/5G
Reliable mobile internet means people and industries can access new knowledge and services, creating more social and economic opportunities.
Connecting the unconnected
Simple and affordable 4G/LTE mobile internet
Benefiting local communities
The community hosted network helps connect people to the internet wherever they are located in the world. Access to a vast array of knowledge and services like eHealth, eLearning, teleworking, and even services like car and home sharing improve economic and social well-being. 4G/5G mobile internet access can also help attract visitors to an area and lead to more foot-traffic for businesses.
Ideal for operators
The community hosted network is the ideal solution for operators as it minimizes capital expenditure. Instead of building expensive base stations, local end-users request a base station kit – meaning site location, power, and backhaul is provided by the end-user. The solution removes the need for site visits or maintenance tasks, and the community hosted network cloud OSS enables remote base station management and automated operation. The solution is also 5G ready to allow a natural evolution to faster internet when available.
Enabling new business
For industries in remote areas, the community hosted network provides a hassle-free solution for ensuring connectivity with minimal costs and maintenance needs. By connecting vehicles, devices, sensors, IoT equipment, and cloud services, mobile 4G/5G enables digitalization and automation initiatives. The solution can also increase efficiency, personnel safety, and customer satisfaction by bringing coverage to current black spots and improving information flow.
User friendly telecoms
A simpler way to deliver mobile internet to remote locations
The big design challenge
Many have tried to create solutions for internet connectivity for remote areas before, but it’s not just a difficult engineering problem – it’s an economical and societal one as well. Rural areas and developing countries traditionally have a much lower average revenue per user (ARPU). That meant rethinking the concept of how telecoms are normally provided.
Put simply, our concept is a 4G/5G base station product with ease-of-use as its main selling point. Clear packaging and simple instructions enable virtually any person to install and maintain the base station. The software UI is simple and elegant and includes features for autoconfiguration, so that physical installations can be completely asynchronous and no elaborate on-site configuration is needed. The cloud-based Operating Support System (OSS) is like a central management hub for all the base stations in the field to provide a simple but self-healing system.
Implementing the concept
The project began with a market study followed by the creation of a new solution concept, including the overall business model, revenue streams and value chain. The reason for this was that the existing concept and business model had so far not become profitable. Lean development was then used to create the proof of concept before moving on to a pilot phase and the product launch.
To pull off the project, we needed a wide number of disciplines – concept design, UX design, software development including DevOps work with AWS and Kubernetes, and also debugging the internal embedded systems of base stations with decades of complexity built in. We also had to run our own end-to-end LTE system and in the process learn about different Radio Access Technologies (RATs). The backend system is implemented with a microservice architecture where services run on Node.js and are published using GraphQL. The client-side was written in Go as it makes cross-compiling to our small cell architecture easy.