Mexican rural community creates own mobile network

Tuesday 20 August 2013 | 08:24 CET | News

The Mexican rural community of Talea de Castro, State of Oaxaca, has set up its own mobile network, dubbed Red Celular de Talea (RCT) (Talea Mobile Network). Domestic operators in Mexico refused to extend their mobile networks to the rural community of Talea, on grounds that it was not profitable, AFP reports. RCT users can make local and global calls and send SMS. The community has its own mobile infrastructure, including billing and management of the network on their own.

The Talea population, mostly of indigenous origin, decided to launch its own system and created the RCT. The project was developed in partnership with the Rhizomatica organization, which seeks to bring mobile communications to underserved areas through a low-cost GSM-enabled mobile phone, free software and VoIP technology.

The RCT uses "all spectrum fragments that exist across the Mexican airspace and which telephony operators refuse to use for reasons of financial infeasibility", Israel Hernandez, a RTC project founder told AFP.

The RCT initiators obtained a 2-year license from Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel) to test the service and the equipment provided by a US-based company. The project is currently undergoing a trial period. In the first three months since the pilot was launched, the RCT service has reached over 600 monthly users.

For a monthly fee of MXN 15, RCT users can make unlimited local voice calls of up to five minutes per call, a condition imposed by the limited number of deployed lines. Calls to international numbers are charged around MXN 0.80 (approximately USD 0.06) per minute. The RCT currently has 11 installed lines and the inhabitants plan to expand it to 35 simultaneous lines, which will be deployed over the next weeks.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

::: add a comment