A Great Example Of Bringing Accessible & Affordable Mobile Telephony To Low Infrastructure Areas – Fairwaves

According to Fairwave’s own description, this is what they are doing:

Fairwaves make rural mobile coverage profitable. We have built a unique technology that significantly lowers the cost of deploying and operating mobile networks in rural regions. Fairwaves is gaining a footprint in the telecommunications space by helping Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to roll out mobile networks to reach up-to 1.6 billion new customers.

Who Are Fairwaves?

Fairwaves is a Russian startup making a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications base station that will enable $1/month mobile phone subscriptions. The company’s GSM network-in-the-box (NITB) base station costs $5000 compared to millions of dollars for traditional telephone communications and network equipment, it has low power needs at 100W, and serves a 10 km radius. It uses the Osmocom GSM stack, an open source initiative developing free software for mobile telephony, from the handset to the network.

You can even check out their online shop on how to purchase their base stations and set them up.
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Source: http://shop.fairwaves.co/

“In contrast to traditional mobile network solutions that are highly centralized, dependent upon backhaul and making heavy use of this, the Fairwaves solution is built upon a distributed VoIP core that benefits from local switching and is resilient to network failure”

What I love about this startup and technologies like this is the embrace of open source to make their solutions accessible and affordable.

I will file this away under a great example of Frugal Innovations!

Author: Venkata Gandikota

Venkata has more than 13 years of technical engineering, research, ideation, strategy and business modeling experience. Based on his experience with the Indian market and realizing also the need for affordable & sustainable solutions for Finland and other European markets, he started The Nordic Frugal Innovation Society in late 2013 with 2 colleagues. By organizing ideation workshops and 2 major conferences involving Cities, Universities, and businesses he started to mainstream the concept in Finland and the Nordics. Gandikota has also written several articles focusing on frugal innovations in the Finnish media. He has also been helping Finnish businesses in India as CEO of Indianeer Consulting and gives guest lectures at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. He has a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from India and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from USA.