The quality of services for rural and remote users, often served using 2G technology, can be significantly improved using virtualisation technologies, such as network function virtualisation and software-defined networking, says network virtualisation company Parallel Wireless president, cofounder and CTO Rajesh Mishra.
These technologies also reduce the cost to deploy and manage networks in traditionally lower-average-revenue-per-user regions and provide improved quality of services.
Virtualisation enables telecommunications companies to add agility and flexibility to their network capabilities, making it easier for them to launch newer services faster, he says.
The company’s concept of low-cost coverage through virtualisation provides control, security and traffic prioritisation, and it lessens the impact of network outages, particularly during emergencies.
Parallel Wireless’s HetNet gateway is a software-defined networking and network function virtualisation-based orchestrator that enables service providers to easily scale their multivendor and -technology networks.
Its converged wireless system (CWS) is telecommunications industry standard 3GPP-compliant. This carrier-grade, multiradio access technology node, which delivers instant, reliable and cost-effective coverage, has flexible mounting options and can be installed on any building fixtures, or in any emergency vehicle using a variation of the CWS.
“Our virtualised solutions allow service providers to seamlessly migrate subscribers from 2G to 4G as the market demands. Our solutions and products are designed to enable telecommunications service providers to evolve their networks smoothly so that they can tap into new uses, including smart cities and public safety.
“Public safety is one of our focus areas and our products are a part of various public safety deployments, including FirstNet and the Oklahoma Public Safety Broadband Network project,” highlights Mishra.
Urban market network deployment strategies are not suitable for the rural market, as population density and spread, as well as the challenging terrain and the paying capabilities, are different. Network strategies must be designed with these characteristics in mind.
However, people demand the same quality of services and use the Internet for the same use cases, regardless of where they live. “Social media platforms, connectivity, entertainment, news and video calls are all as popular in the rural market as they are in the urban parts. This is true for all geographies,” notes Mishra.
While open-source reference designs reduce overall development and product costs, they do not address the operating costs associated with the complexity of deploying and maintaining the equipment
in the field.
“The compact, lightweight CWS base station can be located on any street furniture, eliminating the need for a large tower, cabinet, feeder cables, major site preparation and construction costs, while greatly reducing the capital requirement, compared with a macrocell solution,” adds Mishra.
A critical issue in Africa is the chronic lack of affordable power supply, which adds to the challenge and makes it tougher for the service providers to expand into rural areas. Further, the high cost of data in Africa is not in line with the low-paying capacity of rural subscribers.
“We believe that wireless infrastructure is well suited to provide reliable, easily scalable connectivity for the requirements of the African network,” he concludes.