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Mobile telephony brings clear economic and social benefits to its users. As handsets have become more affordable, ownership has reached staggering numbers, even in the most remote areas of the world. However, network coverage is often lacking in low population densities and low income rural areas of the developing world, where big telecoms often defer from deploying expensive infrastructure. To solve this coverage gap, the authors propose VillageCell, a low-cost alternative to high-end cell phone networks. VillageCell relies on software defined radios and open-source solutions to provide free local and cheap long-distance communication for remote regions. The authors' architecture is simple and easy to deploy, yet robust and requires no modification to GSM handsets.
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