While operators are increasingly influencing the designs of their future handsets, Vodafone has gone one better by working with Huawei to develop a base station suitable for installation in rural locations.
The new unit, the first result of the two firms' partnership in their joint Radio Mobile Innovation Centre based in the Spanish capital Madrid, aims to reduce the cost, complexity and power requirements using an all-IP design, and can be driven using solar power alone. The 2G base station, bearing the clunky brand EasyGSM BTS, has been tested initially by Vodafone-controlled Vodacom in South Africa, and is now being reviewed for a commercial launch in various other territories this year.
Vodafone maintains that the EasyGSM BTS is capable of radio self-planning and self-optimisation, and has the same coverage and level of service as a conventional macro base station.
From a green perspective, Huawei claims the EasyGSM BTS consumes far less power than a traditional BTS, increasingly the likelihood the unit can be powered by renewable solar and wind energy generation on site, removing the need for diesel generators. It can also be mounted on a pole, wall or tower.
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