Mobile phone coverage is invariably a big issue on jobsites and at remote area camps. As a licensed Telco, we easily have the ability to ‘resell’ services provided by other carriers, but the costs involved to deploy our own GSM and 3G (mobile phone) systems to those areas where coverage is poor or non-existent has been a limiting factor.
The major carriers (Telstra / Vodafone / Optus) are sometimes willing to provide services to these remote sites using a COW (Communications On Wheels) if there is a strong business case and a company has the capacity to pay several hundred thousand dollars upfront, but many of our smaller clients cannot justify such a significant expenditure.
Seeing the opportunity to help our clients by investing in the business further, in late 2012 we identified the technology we'd need to use and embarked on an expedition to the United States to undergo intensive training with a game changing company based in the Silicon Valley.
In a nutshell, the concept involves taking the Core Network Hardware involved in a mobile phone basestation and converting it into software. This allows the major functions of the mobile phone system to run on commodity servers and reduces the upfront cost by a factor of five.
The potential is limitless, and we're ready to deploy.