Feeds

Open source cellular targets rural comms

Linux and Asterisk for cellular networks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Start-up RangeNetworks is hoping that the combination of low cost and transparent software will allow it to break into the notoriously locked-down cellular network market.

Mobile network infrastructure is traditionally the preserve either of either established vendors (think Ericsson or Alcatel-Lucent), or well-backed new entrants like Huawei. Rather than try to pitch itself into the large, complex world of urban mobile networks, Range is looking for smaller-scale targets like rural and remote networks.

In markets like the USA, that means the company can skip trying to win business among the large incumbents, and instead look for customers among the rural “franchisees” that often serve markets that the national-scale carriers find uneconomic.

RangeNetworks founder and CEO David Burgess told The Register that capex and complexity are the enemies of small-scale cellular operators, particularly where subscriber density is low. The company claims its Snap system, which can serve 400 subscribers, is one-tenth the capex of a traditional vendor's base station.

It's also low power – at 35 watts, it's suitable for remote solar or small-scale wind power – and uses IP backhaul.

For non-traditional operators, Burgess said, there should also be advantages in staffing and training, with RangeNetworks using Asterisk-based VoIP rather than circuit-based systems to deliver voice services. As a result, he said, “the systems are manageable by people who know Linux and IP networking. They don't need the kind of specialised training the older SS7 systems do.”

The company has partnered with the open source outfit SS7Ware for the home location register equipment and software, and both RangeNetworks' radio access network and SS7Ware's HLR have interfaces to OpenBTS. OpenBTS, of which Burgess is a co-inventor, provides an open source gateway between GSM and a SIP-based softswitch.

RangeNetworks has reference customers in Papua, Zambia and Antarctica, and Burgess says a key focus for the next year will be to secure high-end reference customers.

“An important strategic initiative will be to get a handful of normal-looking public cellular networks up and running, to provide services in a way that looks familiar to incumbent carriers,” he said. “We need a network that's installed on a long-term basis – more than six months – and serving at least a few hundred or a few thousand paying subscribers on a day-to-day basis.” ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.