A great team of hardware and software engineers passionate about making life easier for people has provided a way for individuals and enterprises to create a custom 4G LTE-based cellular network with a modern stack. The team designed a decentralized cellular-data network that can be deployed and controlled by anyone anywhere.
“Ukama makes cellular internet accessible to everyone — whether you are looking for free, faster streaming on your smartphone at home, or bringing cellular data connectivity to a rural area for the first time, or rolling out a secure industrial IoT network,” says Kashif C. Ali, CEO and founder of Ukama. “It is a complete solution that includes SIMs (and support for eSIMs), a cellular base station, distributed and embedded cellular Core, a management console, and cloud services.”
Ukama is very easy to use and set up. All you need is electrical power and the internet and you can have free cellular data for your smartphone or IoT devices in no time. Ukama networks can enable applications across various sectors: warehouses, hospitals, manufacturing lines, ports etc.
“With Ukama, you can use all of your SIM devices (and even equip other devices with cellular adapters that take SIMs) without being tied to a big telco — you are the telco, albeit one that relies on your ISP for the backend connection to the rest of the internet,” the company further explained.
Some of the Key Benefits that come with using Ukama include:
- It is a reliable and secure network that you can control. You don’t have to deal with poor network coverage or lack of service that are usually associated with other cellular data networks.
- It gives you access to run a cellular data network anywhere for yourself and for others in your apartment, your neighborhood, or your locality.
- You can decide to run your network for others either as a commercial service or for free.
- It allows you to develop and deploy faster and more efficient IoT devices based on private cellular networks.
- You can access global roaming if you are outside the coverage area of your own network.
Ukama also boasts of some unique features which stand it out amongst existing SoC-based and SDR-based networks. See comparison below
|Evolved Packet Core (EPP)||Embedded||Runs on GPP or requires additional hardware|
|Ease of Use||High||Moderate or Low|
|Power Consumption||Low||From low to medium to high|
|Managed Service available||Yes||No|
|Open hardware||Yes||Not all|
Ukama could also be a good alternative for WiFi for many devices. The only difference there is between the two is that, unlike WiFi, Ukama provides an official way to share and bill anyone who connects to your Ukama network especially if you don’t want them hogging all the bandwidth.
Ukama is offered in four variants namely the Ukama Home Node, Ukama Tower Node, Ukama Amplifier Unit, and the UkamaTRX module. There’s also a table showing the differences between some of their hardware features.
|Features||Home Node||Amplifier Node||Amplifier Unit||TRX Module|
|Highest Active Devices||8||128||None||8|
|RF connectors||2x SMA||7x SMA||3x SMA||5x U.FL|
|Main Processor||1.6 GHz MIPS quad-core||1.6 GHz MIPS quad-core||500 MHz ARM single-core||1,6 GHz MIPS quad-core|
|Secondary GPP||None||Intel quad-core 1.9 GHz||None||None|
|Ethernet||1 Gbps||1 Gbps||100 Gbps||1 Gbps|
|Cooling||Passive heat sinks||Passive heat sinks||Passive heat sinks||None available|
|Power Consumption||Less than 30W||Less than 45W||Less than 20W||Less than 25W|
|Power Input||12V DC barrel jack||PoE+||PoE||12V DC two pins|
|Temperature||0 to 50°C||-40 to +55°C||-40 to +55°C||-40 to +55°C|
|Dimension||8.2 x 4.8 x 1.3 inches||6.1 x 8.4 x 3.0 inches||4.6 x 9.4 x 4.0 inches||4.5 x 1.2 x 4.6 inches|
|Weight||1.36 kg||2.04||1.45 kg||0.68|
|Ruggedness||Indoor only||Outdoor||Outdoor||Workbench only|
Some accessories and tools also available for sale include an Indoor 4G/5G monopole whip antenna, a 1-meter Ethernet cable, a data eSIM, and an outdoor high-gain antenna.
Prices for all are available on the crowdsupply product page where the product was launched. An $8 shipping fee applies to those in the United States while others elsewhere are to pay $18 for shipping.
Other valuable details on Ukama including support and documentation as well as global roaming rates can also be found on the Crowd supply page.