Low-cost solar base stations
As Mobile Network Operators strive to increase their subscriber base, they need to address the “Bottom of the Pyramid” segment of the market and extend their footprint to very remote places in a cost-effective way. Recent technological progress in low consumption base stations and satellite systems allow them to use solar energy as the only source of power supply, and to minimize satellite backhaul costs.
New “small cell” design is leading to very optimized rural base stations, offering both 2G and 3G/4G local coverage, connected with state-of-the-art VSAT terminals. Such a rural site, as illustrated below, generally utilizes a simple cellular antenna to minimizes the overall acquisition and installation costs. It is connected to a central management server allowing network operators to centrally supervise and control the solar energy supply, as well as the cellular and satellite equipment.