A tiny Mexican village has launched its own cellular service after being turned down for coverage by telecom giants.
Villa Talea de Castro, a tiny village consisting of just 2,500 citizens, now has its very own micro mobile network with rates 13 times cheaper than bigger telecom corporations such as America Movil. Red Celular de Talea (RCT) was launched thanks to a joint initiative between universities, civil organizations and indigenous groups.
The service costs 15 pesos (USD $1.12) per month, which is about 13 times cheaper than the basic plans offered by major telecom providers in Mexico City.
Range Networks provided a 900 Mhz GSM radio tower and software allowing for the receiving/transmission of calls, registration of new phone numbers, and billing. Locals can even call people in the United States for really cheap thanks to a VoIP link.
The one downside to all this is that calls are capped up to 5 minutes because of the network’s limited bandwidth.
Nonetheless, the service is a big step forward for the community, and while it is still in a test period, over 600 residents have signed up to use the mobile network. The civil rights group behind the venture said there are even plans to construct mobile networks in other villages where big brands refuse to operate in.