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BRCK to extend LTE coverage with Facebook

BRCK to extend LTE coverage with Facebook

Kenya-based integrated hardware and software company, BRCK will extend its internet coverage through its MOJA Wi-Fi network in collaboration with Facebook's Magma open source platform.

According to Facebook, the Magma platform helps networks get more mileage from their coverage by using tools that would extend LTE mobile networks to underserved areas of the world.

"Magma includes a distributed mobile packet core supporting local breakout of the data plane, in addition to network automation and management software," Facebook announced during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"You can run Magma's centralised cloud-based controller on a public or private cloud environment, and start with just a single site," Facebook said, adding that, "Its automated provisioning infrastructure makes deploying LTE as simple as deploying a Wi-Fi access point. The platform works with existing LTE base stations, and can federate with traditional mobile cores to extend services to new areas."

BRCK will serve as Facebook's partner in Kenya, and will continue to extend its MOJA Wi-Fi to underserved areas of the East African country.

Currently, the MOJA Wi-Fi service covers a radius of between 50 metres and 100 metres. The company hopes to increase the coverage once they deploy the service, but has not confirmed details of how far they expect to reach.

Reg Orton, a co-founder at BRCK, said, "BRCK has embraced Magma as the backbone of our LTE network. The technology is similar to a lot of the work done in the early days of BRCK building high reliability networks in resource poor settings. It distributes the compute load to the edge, allowing for better performance in resource limited settings."

"It breaks the reliance on legacy systems that have put scaleable LTE out of the reach of most. And it's built on software defined networking, so our upgrade path to 5G isn't limited by hardware or vendor lock in, just a small matter of programming."

Erik Hersman, CEO of BRCK, said the company aims to aggressively capture the Kenyan market. With their recent acquisition of Surf network, the company has added 1,200 fixed public Wi-Fi hotspots to its offering.

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