The Success Story of a Rural Mobile Network
How to Bridge the Digital Divide
Globaltel is a mobile and internet operator on the archipelago of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
Through its own experience, Globaltel demonstrates that mobile telephony for all is not an unattainable dream. This is a realistic and achievable goal thanks to the latest technological developments.
Mobile telephony for all, even in the most remote areas of the World, is a major political challenge. Despite their best efforts, regulators and relevant ministries struggle the world over to enforce mobile telecom operators to fulfill their obligations of universal access, as they pretext non-profitability.
However, Globaltel, the carrier on the archipelago of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, along the coast of Canada, have successfully addressed this challenge. This archipelago, with its 6,000 inhabitants, are now covered by Globaltel with 85% of its territory and 99,5% of its population.
How did Globaltel succeed?
The economic reasons which prevent the access of mobile telephony to all are well known:
The construction costs of the towers which support the GSM antennas and the shelters which host the equipment. In main land France, for the most remote areas, this investment is carried by the local administrations, which increases local taxes
The connection costs to the electrical grid or lack of available electricity, and the cost of electric power
The connection and transmission costs of the telecom signal between the remote area and the main mobile network of the operator. Such transmission usually requires expensive wire or radio communication hardware
The investment costs in telecommunication hardware
The costs of installation and maintenance of the equipment which requires highly qualified personal, especially in the telecom arena
At Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, the alternative carrier drastically reduced all these costs and between the first budgetary estimate based on legacy Network Equipment Providers and the final real costs, a ratio of 1 to 30 has been found.
Globaltel chose an innovative and alternate technology to legacy Network Equipment Providers, in choosing the technology of the Californian company, Range Networks rather than the traditional providers. The main characteristic of this new technology is to use as much as possible standard off the shelf hardware, lowering the acquisition and maintenance costs, and to leverage the benefits of the world of Internet.
The case study of Globaltel shows that mobile telephony for all is not an impossible dream. It is a realistic objective, thanks to the latest evolutions in the technology from Range Networks.