Vanu: Exploring new models

Vanu, Inc. has always had the mission of providing connectivity solutions for those who are unserved or underserved by today’s networks. The lack of rural coverage is an economic problem. Vanu attacks the problem by combining innovative technology with an innovative business model in three aspects: (1) we build wholesale wireless networks, so we don’t have subscribers, but work in partnership with existing carriers; (2) we eliminate the cost, security and environmental problems of diesel, with industry-leading efficiency and lowest power consumption base station, which consumes only 50 watts of power while transmitting 10 watts; (3) using small cell technologies we focus coverage where people live, work and commute. 

Combined, these factors lead to different network designs that achieve high levels of network access with operating expenses low enough to enable sustainable coverage despite comparatively low population densities and low revenue per user. This makes rural coverage profitable and will allow us to provide connectivity to a billion new users.

TIP is the perfect avenue for us to look at promoting these objectives by joining together with like-minded companies to create a robust ecosystem to pursue this important objective. For example, Vanu is working with Facebook in Rwanda to offer network extension to Rwandan operators through a “coverage-as-a-service” model. This model allows carriers to extend their network coverage and increase their revenue without capital investment. 

Vanu is excited about TIP because it focuses attention on the evolution of the network ecosystem to address the unique requirements of unserved markets. By making adjustments across the network in access, backhaul and core technologies, TIP promises to spur innovation and validation of approaches to address the needs of unserved and underserved markets. TIP brings together people that are interested in new models to make connectivity available to the billions of people who lack it today.