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Congo femtocell pilot could spawn DIY mobile networks for isolated communities

congo-femtocell-diy-mobile-networksIt’s nice to get a delivery, but what if your remote village could use the contents to finally talk to the rest of the world? That’s what African communications company RascomStar-QAF is cooking up with a pilot network in the Congo’s jungles. They’re going in to villages throughout the African nation and installing 50 router-like femtocells — normally used in homes for better cellphone access — from UK vendor ip.access. Those devices will be connected through the ViaSat orbiting network to RascomStar’s telecom gateway in the capital, Brazzaville. Since the femtocell setup is nearly automatic, anyone with limited technical knowledge could do it, rather than the team of engineers normally needed for more complex networks. The result would be a system which could be shipped in a box, connecting previously inaccessible areas to a telecom network — a lot bigger deal than the WiFi veranda project we were thinking of. To see how it’ll all come together, connect to the press release below for more details.


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