Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Building mobile networks the traditional way is hard work. Adding just a few small cell base stations requires tedious planning - including RAN and core interworking. Deployment costs exceed by far the price paid for the base stations.
Site rental, electricity contracts and well engineered backhaul connections create a lot of overhead cost that is caused by the current business model where traditional mobile network operators deploy equipment and software that has been designed for their needs.
The business case of the mobile operators also limits build-out to areas where there are sufficient many paying customers. Too bad if you live in a small village in the middle of a large forest - or on a large farm. Some businesses have successfully resolved their connectivity needs using private LTE, but these networks are in many ways built the same way as large telco networks - perhaps with an IT flavor, as enterprise IT is the paying customer.
At Nokia we developed Kuha - community hosted networks, www.kuha.io. We put a small cell base-station with all antennas, cables and installation material that is needed into set up a simple site into a consumer package and added simple instructions for the installation. Power and a reasonable Internet connectivity were provided by the communities. It worked. Of cause some extra software was needed for automating the commissioning for making sure the device could be managed remotely. Kuha was mostly targeted to network operators for extending their service at a very low cost to places where it otherwise did not make sense.
Poutanet is the private network incarnation of Kuha. In addition to the base station box there is a smaller box with the LTE/5G core and the possibility to have some local services, e.g. messaging and voice calls. It is a scaled down, simplified LTE/5G network available to just about anyone at the fraction of the cost and effort of building a traditional network.
Join us on the journey to simplicity.