Axell Wireless gets the Maldives talking

Unique coverage solution paves the way for alternative approaches in mainstream markets.

Wireless coverage specialist, Axell Wireless has delivered a unique solution for the provision of mobile network coverage throughout Male, capital of the island nation, the Maldives. Faced with narrow streets, tightly packed buildings and  restrictions on cell towers, the company worked with mobile operator Wataniya Telecom Maldives to deliver 2G and 3G coverage via distributed multi-band digital repeaters linked to a ‘base station hotel’.

The Maldives capital occupies an entire island which has been comprehensively developed. The narrow streets and dense built environment are not ideal for the RF (radio frequency) penetration required by mobile networks. That situation is further complicated by the civic administrators’ understandable desire to limit visual impacts on the skyline. Wataniya, the operator covering the Republic of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, turned to Axell Wireless to design a solution that allows the commercial opportunities to be exploited, without the need for traditional cell towers. The island now has comprehensive mobile voice and broadband data services that can be easily upgraded when further capacity is required.

In what is believed to be the first installation of its kind, Axell Wireless solved Wataniya’s problem by applying repeater technologies, which are normally associated with providing mobile coverage indoors. A central site has been equipped with a number of base stations that all receive and transmit via a single cell tower and these base stations are linked by fibre optic connections to Axell Wireless’ multi-band repeaters. The repeaters are distributed around the island to create coverage ‘clouds’ where required. Additional base stations and repeaters can be added as more capacity is required.

Hussain Niyaz, Senior Manager Network Planning at Wataniya, explained: The layout of Male, with its dense buildings and narrow streets, raised a unique set of challenges that we needed to overcome in order to successfully deploy outdoor 3G coverage. Axell Wireless allowed us to solve these issues and provide 3G coverage at street level in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Ian Brown, CEO, Axell Wireless, commented: “This was a challenging coverage issue that we addressed by using an outdoor coverage solution, fixed to a specific location, that is able to propagate network coverage over a wide area. Using this network design principle, mobile operators have the flexibility to provide additional coverage to meet capacity, and subscriber demand for voice and data services.”

He added: “New high speed mobile networks, such as those based on LTE technology are going to require a significant increase in cell towers. The sort of network we provisioned in the Maldives is an alternative approach that may have application for environmentally sensitive installations in major urban centres.”

Back to press release list