K-NET Ltd, has developed an innovative solution for a mobile telephony base station for rural applications, called MRIID (Managed Rural ICT Infrastructure Development). The solution differs from a conventional implementation in that it is highly optimized for both low build cost and also very low operating costs.
- The design is optimized to deliver service with a relatively low traffic-carrying capacity appropriate for lower – population areas (18 Erlangs, which equates to a theoretical maximum capacity of 24 simultaneous voice calls). This minimizes cost of the BTS. The modular design supports easy and efficient expansion as needed.
- The BTS is itself designed to minimize both power consumption and also the bandwidth per voice call between the BTS and BSC. A conventional solution typically required 25x more power than the K-NET solution. The low bandwidth required to carry traffic to/from the core telecommunications network minimizes the cost of the link to the rural base station. A conventional solution uses 16x more bandwidth per voice call than the K-NET solution.
- The lower power consumption of the electronics minimizes the cost of the power system. Instead of a conventional high-power diesel generator, the K-NET solution utilizes a highly efficient solar power system with battery backup.
- The solar-based power system has zero running costs, whereas a diesel generator has high running costs in terms of both maintenance and diesel fuel.
- The K-NET solution is optimized to maximize reliability, normally expressed in terms of the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures, being the average period of time between failures at each site). The higher the MTBF the fewer maintenance visits are required at each site. This minimizes cost, and is particularly important for rural implementations, which might be both very remote and very inaccessible.
These features enable K-NET to reduce capex by 50% and opex by 65% compared to a conventional solution, with a resulting total cost of ownership reduction of 60%. This enables MNOs to serve areas profitably with only 40% of the population currently deemed to be economically viable.