Sunday, May 18, 2014

Connecting the Next Three Billion

Vanu Bose, Vanu Inc - software based radio

Some areas  are not economically viable for wireless coverage
Clayton Christenson:  you want to compete where there's no competition - go to the markets which are not being served
6.6 billion SIM cards in 2012 but people have multiple SIM cards, 10% are inactive, 45% have wireless today - Wireless Intelligence are the only people who do the market research correctly
4.5 billion toilets in the world
Over 2 kW per cell tower power requirements using traditional tech
$1-3 per month for poor rural customer account for company
But cell phones boost rural productivity:  10% penetration = 1.6% productivity increase
$200,000 to build each cell tower and 7000 gallons of diesel fuel per year to power them plus the transport costs of fuel to each tower which may be more fuel than running the tower equipment
In Zambia in one village people four hours from coverage have cell phones but one person with a truck takes the phones and drives to the coverage area to collect the messages on the phones and brings them back - once a day usage
Vanu Inc:  100W equipment, outdoor mountable, small size and weight, remotely maintainable - frugal engineering
In developing world, gsm wifi is the answer rather than 3G or 4G.  India has a 3G network but only 5% use it.  It allows for both voice and data.
Compact - gsm and wifi hot spot using 65w so it can use solar.  Performs up to 65 degrees C.  
$3-5 per month to charge cell phone
Vnode - 250w solar cell system with a cell phone charging system at the base and low maintenance Lithium ion batteries.  15 meter towers not 200 foot
Business model is a wholesale network - they provide the coverage but individual cellular companies provide the service and pay them by transmission traffic:  Vanu Africa and on Facebook
Africa:  274 million have no cellular coverage and 214 million have no power
Coverage within half mile of roads is good enough
Launching in Nigeria and Cameroon this year, building the network and negotiating with carriers for roaming charges

Q:  the growth demand for electricity and data?
We'll see but can also install pure power nodes
Towers pay off in 2 years with 500 people

So far, 2 nodes in Zambia

Greenlight planet in solar is the first in India to do light and phone charging.  People want phone charging now before lighting

Vanu also working in Nepal and did remote phone networks in Vermont

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