Wireless Repeater with Uninteruptible Power Supply (UPS) for Cellular Coverage in Rural Areas

The Problem

Due primarily to economic reasons, many geographic areas are not conducive to the installation of cellular infrastructure, and hence, mobile coverage. The lack of population density wouldn't sustain cost of installing and operating the required infrastructure. This is especially true of America's rural settings.

WIN Enterprise helped design the UPS-capable small-cell transceiver and is now producing these for field installation across the target state in its rural areas to serve individuals, businesses and schools.

However, WIN Enterprise's OEM customer developed an economical strategy and the technology required to make this both feasible and profitable. They would implement coverage through small cells. Small cells are low-powered radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum with a range of 10 meters to 1 or 2 kilometers. This approach is much more economical and less controversial than the standard cellular, antennae-based coverage.

What they developed was a compact wireless device that could be mounted on utility poles along rural roads and highways. This would take advantage of the existing rights-of-way and leverage to work already done in what was often very rough terrain. The device would provide coverage in those areas where mobile service was weak or totally unavailable.

The resultant wireless service was to be made available to the existing cellular carriers through non-exclusive roaming agreements. Cellular subscribers would be able to roam onto the extended network with their existing handsets. Roaming data would be passed on to the various cellular service providers from the remote communication nodes, and ultimately, billed to the end-user.

Heretofore, deployment of small cell technology has been slow in coming due to the formidable task of working with the effected municipalities and negotiating the required regulatory permits. However, a project award was granted to our customer at the state government level. Although this was for partial funding, this went a long way in legitimizing the project. A major selling point for the governmental entities was that the small cell solution could be rolled out with virtually no disruption to existing wireline or wireless service. In addition, no expensive and typically controversial cell towers would be needed.

The central technology had been successfully designed and tested by the OEM customer. This central unit is a complete cellular base station in a sealed all-weather outdoor enclosure the size of a ream of paper. It is energy efficient and capable of supporting both CDMA and GSM technologies at the same time, using software defined radios and Internet Protocol. It is software upgradeable to future technologies, and it can use an Internet connection for backhaul to a central network.However, to be successful, more was required. Key features that were still required were an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), and the electronics to manage the unit's operation and communication to the centralized management point.

WIN Enterprises initially bid on producing just a single board computer (SBC) that would manage the unit's operation and communications. Recognizing the broader opportunity the technology represented, WIN also bid on the design of the overall unit. WIN would design a weather proof enclosure and layout for the device's components, including the customer's original mobile technology, the WIN-designed SBC, battery back-up to enable uninterruptible operation, heaters and coolers, etc.

The Result

The deployment of the small cell system has been particularly successful. The OEM customer is now installed in most of the original targeted geography; and is now beginning deployment of the solution in another state. Credit for success goes to the team assembled by our OEM customer. Credit for dealing effectively in securing the required permits and approvals go to other members of the assembled team. WIN Enterprises is assembling the UPS-capable units for field installation and looks forward to expanding its support to our OEM customer.

WIN Enterprises is ISO 9001 certified manufacturer.

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