Fairwaves significantly lowers the cost to deploy and operate 2G mobile networks, allowing people in previously unserviced rural areas to use mobile phones.
Despite the ubiquity of cell phones, 3.8 billion people worldwide still do not have access to mobile networks. Fairwaves offers a scalable, low-cost solution that can be installed in a village in just one day. The hardware is contained in a small box, and by connecting power and an antenna to it, a local community cellular network is established allowing users to make calls within the community. If the unit is connected to a national mobile network, users can call outside the community network and use the internet.
According to the company, the system reduces start-up costs by 75% – one of the main barriers preventing larger mobile networks from reaching small, remote communities – and it reduces operating costs by 60%. It can also run on solar power when grid electricity is unavailable. Fairwaves makes it possible to introduce low-cost, unlimited tariff plans for rural users.
Why you should care
Mobile phones and the internet have become vital in local and regional economies and social interactions. Studies indicate that every additional 10 mobile phones per 100 people increases GDP by at least 0.5% in developing countries. Without access to mobile networks, remote rural communities are at a significant disadvantage. Fairwaves’ easily installed and inexpensive system bridges this technology gap and opens up important pathways for increasing social and economic connectivity.