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  • Heikki Almay

Roam: crypto-powered mobile Internet access


Imagine a world where you can have mobile connectivity where you need it without waiting for a telco to build it - provided by a network not registering every move you make - being able to contribute by connecting your community and helping the network grow in a lean extremely cost efficient way - and being rewarded for the effort with tokens.

During the past months the Poutanet team has been busy reimagining the traditional centralized way mobile networks are deployed and operated.

Roam does this by combining private mobile networks and blockchain. The team has now developed and proven all the protocols that are needed for fully decentralized networks that protect user privacy.


What is Roam

Roam is a crypto-native telco initiative which makes it easy for anyone to set up a mobile network that provides 4G or 5G connectivity for their community.

Roam turns a private mobile network into a consumer product. The incentives for building and operating a network are implemented with blockchain technology.


Completely decentralized

Roam offers a truly distributed network from day one. Roam node owners run complete mobile networks on their own terms. There is no centralized management or central databases for SIM cards or users.


If you want to set up a Roam node, you apply for a local frequency license, order a kit from Roam and set it up following Ikea style instructions. In an hour or so you have a network covering up to 10 km2.

As Roam node owner you receive Roam governance tokens for setting up and operating the network. With the Roam node you get Roam SIM cards that can be given to potential users. SIM cards can also be ordered separately. As Node owner you decide if and how the use of the network is priced and if visitors are allowed.


The Roam node

A Roam Node consists of a small cell base station, a small fanless PC hosting a 4G/5G core software, a management portal and the settlement software. Additionally SIM cards and two preconfigured Android phones are included.

It is a complete LTE network shipped in a single box. Network internal communication works even without Internet connection, but in that case many services and the blockchain based settlement are not available.


Refill near real-time settlement

Charging in Roam is based on the Refill near real-time settlement, which operates under zero trust conditions. Users with Roam SIM cards and the Roam app can subscribe to services of the Roam node and pay for the service in small amounts of stable coins. Unlike with traditional prepaid, remaining coins can be withdrawn by the user and spent somewhere else.


Why now

Roam takes advantage of a massive business opportunity created by the confluence of blockchain technology, the emergence of Internet access as the single most important communication service - and the gradual liberalisation of telecoms regulations.

Roam will be operated by a DAO where token holders steer the development and deployment focus of the system.


Cliffhanger

If you have been exposed to crypto launches you may wonder where the Roam has hidden the candies. There is nothing about tokenomics.

The above discussion is about the utility of the Roam nodes (i.e. run your own network and enjoy reliable connectivity together with neighbors or colleagues - or anyone nearby). Even in Roam blogging: utility comes first.

Yes, there will be a ROAM token. It is ERC-20 based. It is used for the governance process and for rewarding Roam node owners for providing service and also for incentivizing network users. The ROAM token is also used for supporting network growth and for participation in the governance decisions of the network.

Details of the token will be discussed in the next Roam blog.


Should you be interested in the initiative, please contact info@roamnetworks.org.


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