Poynting, a wireless antenna designer and producer, has established a subterranean base station solution for Africa, the Sub-T, at a tenth of the size and cost of traditional base stations.
The consumer mobile traffic is predicted to take an annual growth of about 80 percent, between 2013 and 2017. The big data revolution worldwide also calls for a solution that is easily deployable. According to Poynting CEO Andre Fourie, around 10 times more base stations are required even to service current users in Africa.
“While one base station may serve several 1 000 active voice users, it may be insufficient for 100 active data users as data usage has no limits. Cost versus return constraints of traditional base stations, makes expansion in this way commercially impossible and increasing the amount of traditional cellular base stations is not necessarily a viable option,” said Fourie
“With 80 percent of the Sub-T buried underground next to a streetlight-pole like mast, the solution gives African operators a viable alternative to expand connectivity and deploy more base stations, at a lower cost, with less power requirements, a smaller footprint of roughly 4m² and inherent security; improving communication and connectivity for Africa,” he added.
He said the main idea was to create a flexible solution that takes current and future, equipment and data usage growth needs into consideration. adding that in order to facilitate easy deployment, a smaller solution that allows street light poles or flag poles to be used as base stations to reduces costs.
“We realized that the product needs to be secure against theft, energy efficient, employ natural geo-thermal cooling, present a small footprint, and be adaptable to different equipment and requirements found in Africa,” added the CEO