This project sought to deploy one of the first locally-owned and operated handset supporting LTE networks in the world to rural Papua, Indonesia using low-cost eNodeBs and a custom developed enhanced packet core allowing for local operation and customization.
The Project’s central focus was enabling Internet access in remote rural areas by designing and implementing a decentralized LTE network. A decentralized network enables new services and business models, such as Community Cellular (locally owned telecoms) that better serve remote rural areas. The Project’s earlier work included one of the first decentralized 2G community cellular networks (providing just voice and SMS) deployed in Papua, Indonesia. A key finding from these early experimental network is that this model of cellular access is sustainable even in the most remote of rural areas, with each of the community cellular networks providing enough revenue for their ongoing operations. This decentralized model also allows for innovative use of edge computing, such as caching or local maintenance support.