...the device’s key feature is that it uses little electricity, running on just 64 watts of power supplied entirely by solar panels. Conventional base stations can use 10 or more kilowatts and guzzle thousands of dollars’ worth of diesel fuel each month. While most base-station systems are optimized for performance standards such as better spectrum efficiency and higher data transmission rates, Bose and his team decided to trade off some performance for energy savings, minimizing each component’s power consumption.
....Bose believes the value of providing remote coverage extends far beyond phone and Internet service. A cellular connection also makes possible solar home lighting systems financed with phone-based “pay as you go” systems, digital banking services, weather and market price notifications for farmers, access to medical information for rural health workers, educational materials for teachers and students in rural schools, and more.