Quortus has announced a complete suite of solutions that allows mobile network operators, service providers and satellite operators to build best-in-class voice and data services for rural and remote communities.
Based on the company’s EdgeCentrix core network virtualization technology, the new rural and remote offering aligns with the Small Cell Forum’s Release 5, also announced at Mobile World Congress this week (see story here) and opens up a global market of 650 million users worth an estimated US$163 billion.
The new Quortus offering extends coverage and capacity to a broad range of users who find themselves underserved by existing infrastructure. These include rural communities both in the developed world and emerging economies; remote workers such as those on oil rigs and mining operations; and isolated “single users” such as farms and holiday homes across the globe.
It helps to solve the challenges of low ARPU and high build-out cost by virtualising core network functions and implementing them locally, optimising backhaul and harnessing the power of both small cells and traditional macrocells.
"Over two-thirds of potential subscriber growth lies in rural and remote regions, but many carriers have not yet discovered a convincing business case for deploying networks in such areas,” said Caroline Gabriel, research director at Rethink Technology Research.
“Virtualising core functions at the network edge, along with small cell technology in line with SCF Release 5, promises to enable new business and service models that tap into this massive potential.”
The Quortus solution delivers an integrated coverage and capacity solution via 4G LTE, 3G and GSM with voice, SMS and data services. It reduces strain on the macro network and backhaul by offloading voice, data and signaling; and it can be efficiently tailored to local needs, with benefits like IP-PBX and LAN integration for enterprise-style installations such as oil rigs, and local “community of interest” features for rural communities.
Recent research by Rethink Technologies has revealed that backhaul is one of the most significant issues in serving rural and remote markets. The Quortus solution includes a complete range of optimisation technologies that can be used singly or in combination to improve QoS and reduce costs.
First, it can intelligently offload packet data into a local LAN, reducing both data and signaling traffic on the backhaul, and enabling local caching. It can also “untunnel” user data locally allowing it to be optimised for satellite backhaul before transmission, while retaining operator visibility of the data to enable standard network functions such as billing and legal intercept.
Finally, the Quortus rural and remote solution provides for in-band relaying and/or backhaul of 4G coverage, for macro network extension.
Combining these features with the capabilities of Quortus’s successful ECX Enterprise product produces a powerful solution for remote business locations, the company claimed.
These can combine robust and secure on-site voice and data communications (including newly-announced VoLTE capabilities), connectivity via roaming with the global network infrastructure, and morale communications for staff, all with ease of use features such as own-number call termination, allowing users to “bring their own” device or SIM.
At MWC, Quortus also announced a new whitepaper, written by Rethink Technology Research, looking at the requirements of rural and remote applications, and the potential for virtualisation in this environment. It is due to be launched on 10 March 2015.
The Quortus rural and remote solution is available immediately.