Thu 14 Feb

TIER's micro-telco in Papua goes live

This is too cool not to share -- TIER's VillageBTS project in Papua finally went live this week. Check out the blog post Kurtis Heimerl, whose thesis work VBTS is, wrote on the TIER blog. I spent a few weeks helping deploy this back in November.

It's only been a few days, but the network is already turning a profit (at least on operating costs; capital expenditures, like the BTS itself, were paid for by TIER's grant funds). I think that's a huge demonstration of the value this system brings to the local community, and not something you usually see in academic development work. A quick glance at the logs shows that in the first four days of operation we've already handled almost 1100 SMS (about 40% were between users of our network, with the remainder between our users and the outside world).

All in all, very cool so far. I can't wait to see how this project evolves.