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casestudy antarctica .pdf

Original filename: casestudy-antarctica.pdf
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This case study highlights how Range
Networks equipment is being used to extend a
private network and increase safety in the most
remote and challenging conditions. By
installing Range Networks equipment in several
Antarctic research stations, a government
agency has achieved cellular communications
at one of the most remote outposts on Earth.

Allows researchers to stay connected
if satellite backhaul is unavailable,
which is critical for safety.

Harvind Samra, Range Networks

At this remote Antarctic location, the cellular network must interface with an existing PBX network across three labs
in Antarctica, one on Macquarie Island and a research vessel. Extreme conditions make equipment failure more
likely and third party repair nearly impossible; the system must be configured and maintained using local resources.
Additionally, for safety and operational reasons this polar research facility cannot be dependent on satellite backhaul for local communications.

The network provides researchers with a private
network that replaces a VHF paging system and is
managed entirely by existing personnel.
Leveraging Range Networks open source software
(OpenBTS) and 5150 Base Station a unified private
network was created connecting 400 mobile and 800
desktop phones. Because Range Networks equipment
allows local switching, researchers can communicate
locally even if satellite backhaul is unavailable.
Range Networks system operates as a self-contained
network, replacing the need for traditional core
network infrastructure and associated costs for
equipment, power and maintenance. Due to its
simplicity and robustness, the network is being
expanded to several sites.
© Range Networks 2013
OpenBTS ®

Site one, an island research base near the Antarctic Circle.

page 1

CASE STUDY (cont’d)

Now deployed on one island research station, four additional Range Networks 5150 Base Stations will provide the
research team with cell phone coverage across their entire operational area of 150 km2. New sites include three
Antarctic bases and a research vessel with roughly 110 crewmembers and additional personnel aboard.



Maritime Application
Around Antarctica, Range Networks 5150 Base
Station is used onboard a steel hulled research
vessel. The vessel has been outfitted to provide
service below deck. Satellite backhaul enables
crew to communicate with colleagues onboard
or thousands of kilometers away.

The network connects multiple sites
through an existing VoIP service
allowing global calls over satellite
backhaul when coverage is available.

Range Networks 5150 Base Station
900MHz 10W System
Power Consumption: <60W
900MHz Omnidirectional Antenna, Up to 5km of


A Radiating Cable Antenna provides service below deck.

© Range Networks 2013
OpenBTS ®

Local and Global Calls (OpenBTS voice, satellite
backhaul permits global calls)
Local and Global SMS (OpenBTS SMS, satellite
backhaul permits global SMS)
Subscriber Management

page 2

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