NuRAN Wireless, a leading supplier of mobile and broadband wireless solutions, has been selected by Rhizomatica to connect Mexico’s rural communities. Rhizomatica is a non-profit organization based in Oaxaca, Mexico, whose mission is to enable access to mobile telecommunications for the over two billion people without affordable coverage and the 700 million with none at all. To this end, the organization thoroughly investigated ways to bring mobile connectivity to low-density, low-income, rural areas.

After conducting evaluation and trials with several radio access equipment vendors, Rhizomatica has selected NuRAN Wireless’s LiteCell, a small, inexpensive, and low power consumption GSM basestation that can be commissioned as easily as a Wi-Fi router. Rhizomatica uses the LiteCell units in conjunction with small-scale, open source instantiations of a GSM core network, which leverages voice over IP as the means for conveying calls outside of the village network.

The solution marks a breakthrough in mobile communication infrastructure, as it costs only a fraction of the price of traditional systems. In many cases, a monthly subscriber fee of only $3 is sufficient to cover all operating expenses and recoup equipment costs in less than two years. It is also well adapted to off-grid deployments, where a 10-kilometer radius cell can be powered by a single solar panel.

“We have decided to use the LiteCell based on the product's low cost and proven reliability in the field. Our goal is to provide cellular service at the lowest cost possible to the users, and NuRAN’s LiteCell helps us achieve exactly this”, said Peter Bloom, general coordinator of Rhizomatica

“We are very excited that our LiteCell was selected by Rhizomatica as the radio access solution to provide communications to rural communities of Mexico. With these village networks, the organization is demonstrating that new segments of demographics can be serviced with mobile communications in a sustainable manner”, said Maxime Dumas, head of strategy and business development at NuRAN Wireless.

Rhizomatica will start the first phase of its network deployment in the state of Oaxaca this summer. The organization has been granted cellular spectrum from Mexico’s regulatory IFETEL, who is keen to put the proper legislative conditions in place to connect isolated communities across the whole country.