In this paper we introduce CoLTE, a solution for LTE-based community networks. CoLTE is a lightweight, Internet-only LTE core network (EPC) designed to facilitate the deployment and operation of small-scale, community owned and operated LTE networks in rural areas with limited and unreliable backhaul. The key differentiator of CoLTE, when compared to existing LTE solutions, is that in CoLTE the EPC is designed to be located in the field and deployed alongside a small number of cellular radios (eNodeBs), as opposed to the centralized model seen in large-scale telecom networks. We also provide performance results and lessons learned from a real-world CoLTE network deployed in rural Indonesia. This network has been sustainably operating for over six months, currently serves over 40 active users, and provides measured backhaul reductions of up to 45% when compared to cloud-core solutions.
Spencer Sevilla, Matthew Johnson, Pat Kosakanchit, Jenny Liang, and Kurtis Heimerl. 2019. Experiences: Design, Implementation, and Deployment of CoLTE, a Community LTE Solution. In The 25th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom ‘19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 45, 1–16. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3300061.3345446