The island phone system adventure…
So, I’m on Niue – which is a small island nation in the South Pacific. We are working to install a pilot system to provide mobile phone coverage for the island’s 1000 inhabitants and the few thousand tourists a year who come here to enjoy the island’s way of life.
The island currently has no GSM operator – the only mobile phones are old analog “AMPS” devices. I can’t think of the last time I arrived somewhere and didn’t get a signal at the airport.
We are hoping to install OpenBTS to act as the GSM infrastructure on a TV tower, and connect it to the island’s telephone exchange using Asterisk . These open source components combined with some commodity hardware and some special purpose parts (antenna etc.) should combine to create a low cost mobile phone system for an entire (if small) nation.
Here’s what we have in mind:
The only way to get to Niue is on the weekly flight from Auckland – we came on the plane last weekend, unfortunately our equipment didn’t. Much of it is still sitting in a customs warehouse in Auckland. We await the next plane with an-tici-pa-tion.
Fortunately we have quite a bit to be going on with. We have acquainted ourselves with the local conditions and started work on putting in the Wifi link from the tower to the telephone center.
I’ll keep you posted on how we get on.