Range Networks' solution does not require any proprietary hardware. We integrate and test with off-the-shelf components that anyone can buy so our customers are not locked into any single hardware vendor.
The Base Station
To generate and process cellular signals, a mobile service needs at least one base station. In a traditional network, this would be a proprietary piece of hardware consisting of customized chips. In our design, it is a standard Linux server and an off-the-shelf programmable radio.
For a low-density network, a low-power server running an Atom processor can suffice to produce the performance required in your network. Higher capacity networks require more powerful servers.
With an i7 class processor even high density GSM and EDGE networks are supported as well as UMTS.
Radios were previously designed for a single purpose (FM receiver, CB transmitter, etc). A new type of radio, the SDR (software defined radio) has changed this.
With an SDR, the signaling intelligence is built into standard software instead of baked into silicon. Their ability to be reprogrammed on the fly is what allows Range Networks' solution to change freely among GSM, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS.
The Amplification Chain
Your base station will function by itself but will only cover a very small area. Additional equipment is needed to boost the signal to increase coverage.
A linear amplifier increases the power of your transmission signal from ~100mW to 2W, 10W or 20W, depending on your needs.
Depending on the population density and service radius of your network, a receive amplifier may also be beneficial. By boosting signals received from phones in your network, a receive amplifier increases the usable coverage area in your network.
Because a phone cannot transmit with as much power as a tower, the receive chain becomes the limiting factor in lower-density, large-radius networks.
Even the strongest signals will be useless if they're not aimed correctly. The choice of tower location and antenna type are key to a successful deployment.
Using an existing structure may be convenient in the short term but long term solutions should focus on having an optimum tower location for the population to be ideally covered.
Antennas exist for many different purposes. Some are omnidirectional (360º), others point to one side (180º) and others limit coverage to an even smaller slice (45º, 60º, 90º).
Your location's terrain and climate as well as building types, materials and density, will all determine the which antennas should be used and how many are needed.
Your Range Partner will help you select and position the antennas to meet the needs of your community.