Experimental Network Connects Zambia’s Most Remote

Staff Writer | IT News Africa | July 17, 2013

Range Networks, a leading U.S.provider of commercial open-source cellular systems, announced this week that it had successfully deployed an experimental cellular network in Southern Zambia.

The Mobility Management and Networking Laboratory (Moment Lab) at UC Santa Barbara chose Range Networks Snap Network and OpenBTS software to provide voice and SMS service in the sprawling village of Macha. The team used the deployment to study rural cellular networks and serve as a proof-of-concept project for future deployments in Zambia and other remote regions.

The average income of the community is reportedly around $1 per day.  The network was set-up as a free service, using open source software, to study the feasibility of low-cost systems to potentially cover billions of people around the world without cellular access.