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RuralStar: Remote Doesn't Mean Out of Reach

How a backpack-sized device overcame the technical challenges of connecting remote areas

Out of the Way, Out of Reach?

As stipulated by the UN, connectivity is a human right as well as the cornerstone of economic progress. Nevertheless, GSMA reports that more than 700 million people in the world remain unconnected. Many of these people live in hard-to-reach remote areas where it’s impractical or too expensive to connect them.

Now, though, living in remote or rural communities no longer means missing out on the opportunities offered by a digitally connected world.

A New Horizon for the People of Nigeria

In rural Nigeria, Huawei teamed up with local carrier MTN to bring connectivity to the remote village of Tobolo. For the patients of community health worker Adeshia, this connectivity can mean the difference between life and death. Instead of traveling to nearby towns to ask doctors to visit the village, she can now call or text them, saving time – and lives.

Connecting Remote Areas to the World

A Tough Solution for Tough Environments

RuralStar applies wireless backhaul technology that doesn't require "line-of-sight" to link to other nodes, making it perfect for challenging terrain like deserts, mountainous regions, and rural valleys. In practice, that means it can go to work wherever people are.The simplicity of the system means that a node can be built in less than seven days, cutting setup costs and time by up to 70%. And its footprint is minimal - RuralStar consumes no more energy than five lightbulbs.

  • 60

    countries have implemented RuralStar

  • 50million

    people are connected by RuralStar

Reaching the Farthest Corners of the Earth

Since 2017, RuralStar has been deployed in more than 110 networks globally, benefiting millions of people in rural areas with digital tech, many for the first time.

Growing the Seeds of Connectiviy

Huawei's award-winning RuralStar solution brings voice, text, and broadband data services to remote, hard-to-reach communities. Light and compact, the back-pack sized solution can be easily mounted on regular wooden or steel poles, providing an affordable answer to connectivity in scenarios where other solutions aren't cost-effective or viable.

Connect to Enrich

Bringing connectivity to unconnected areas is the first step to a more open, inclusive, and intelligent world. Huawei’s RuralStar brings the vast benefits of digital transformation to forgotten communities. From saving lives to digital payments to virtual education, connectivity is the catalyst for creating opportunities for all.

Beyond Rural

The reach of RuralStar extends beyond sparsely populated towns and villages. Despite their small size, China’s Zhoushan Qushan islands are rich in natural resources and a hotbed for mining. However, limited Internet access meant that for miners as well as residents, island life was a disconnected experience. In just two days, Huawei connected its RuralStar to a neighboring donor site, creating an incredibly agile and cost efficient solution. Now, life for both local people and miners is no longer so isolated.