Vodafone, Ericsson test feature to make rural mobile coverage cheaper

By allowing three antennas to share one radio unit, operators can expand networks to remote parts of the world

Ericsson and Vodafone in Egypt have successfully tested a new way to build more energy-efficient networks in rural areas, and make it possible to build networks where they previously could not be built, according to the vendor.

In parts of the world where electricity isn't readily available and diesel generators are relied on, any improvements in energy efficiency are seen as interesting, according to Anders Lindblad , president of the Middle East and Africa region at Ericsson.

The feature which Ericsson calls Psi-Coverage was successfully tested in Vodafone Egypt's 3G network uses one radio unit that connects to three antennas, instead of one for each antenna. The end-result is a 40 percent drop in power consumption, according to Ericsson.

The drawback is that base stations with the new antenna configuration don't have the same capacity. But in rural areas, the capacity of a traditional configuration is not necessary. Also, the removal of two out of three radio units doesn't equate to the capacity dropping by two-thirds, thanks to a booster used on the uplink, Lindblad said.

"One of the largest problems in many of my countries, including Egypt, is that the economy in covering hard-to-reach areas is tough. Also, many countries don't have funds to incentivize operators to cover everyone," said Lindblad.

But the savings that are possible thanks to the lower power consumption means that operators can afford to build out networks to rural areas where that hasn't been financially viable, according to Lindblad.

The name of the feature is symbolic, after the letter "psi" in the Greek alphabet, which has the shape of a fork with three teeth, according to Ericsson.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Ericsson4gtelecommunication3gCarriersVodafone Groupenvironment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?