AMN uses Osmocom to deliver more than 1.5 billion voice minutes per year

AMN is pleased to announce that it is now delivering more than 1.5 billion voice minutes per year using AMN’s own radio node (ARN) and Osmocom open source software. This represents approximately half of all AMN traffic across more than 4200 base stations. AMN sites provide crucial connectivity for more than 12 million people living in rural and ultra rural communities across Africa who previously had no access to telecommunication services.

AMN is committed to providing access to telecommunication services to all communities of any significant size, offering turnkey solutions to mobile network operators looking to expand their networks. AMN specialises in rural deployments and leverages its significant experience to roll out thousands of sites every year. AMN is not a traditional tower company, instead offering a unique and ubiquitous solution from tower and power, innovative RAN equipment and ongoing network monitoring and optimization.

AMN has been an OEM for RAN equipment since 2020 when it acquired Range Networks and grafted the Range radio onto proven free open-source software developed by sysmocom. AMN now manufactures four versions of the AMN Radio Node (ARN) to support use of the 800, 850 and 900 Mhz bands, offering mixed radio access technologies (2G, 3G, 4G and soon 5G).

AMN’s radio node has been deployed at more than 1400 remote base stations, providing network coverage to more than 4 million people across 13 countries. AMN operates 18 BSCs in order to support ARN deployment, and all ARN controllers run on Osmocom, with approximately 5 million voice minutes running on top of Osmocom software every day.

Sysmocom develops Open Source software for mobile telecommunications. Founded in 2011, sysmocom is the main developer of the Osmocom 2G and 3G Core and Radio access Network implementation. Sysmocom has also been providing development and support services for the Open5GS open source 4G EPC and 5GC project since 2020. In addition, sysmocom provides a variety of products and R&D services to MNOs, MVNOs as well as cellular equipment manufacturers.

AMN was proud to sponsor the recent Osmocom Developer Conference, OsmoDevCon. Michael Iedema, AMN’s principal engineer, summarised the journey to deploying an OpenSource network at scale. In a presentation entitled “Open Source Networks are Real Mobile Networks”, Michael Iedema gives ‘peek behind the curtain’ at the four year journey from zero to 5 million minutes per day on more than 1400 towers in ultra rural environments using Open Source technology.

“Throughout network design, initial deployments and ongoing optimisation, Sysmocom has provided valuable support that allows AMN to deploy its own radio node that perfectly satisfies its unique needs without the significant cost of bespoke software or ongoing licence fees. The development and deployment of ARN, offering 2G, 3G and 4G from a single box, means we can offer service anywhere in the world that rivals traditional urban tower solutions.” Mike Darcy, CEO, AMN

“We are very excited about AMN’s success story deploying our open source mobile communications stack at scale in many countries. We hope more parts of the industry follow their example and realise the full potential of open source software in mobile communications: no vendor lock-in, no annual licence fees and no end-of-lifetime forcing equipment replacements, especially for legacy 2G and 3G deployments.” Harald Welte, co-founder and managing director, sysmocom

AMN plans to use Osmocom for all new deployments, and has a larger ambition of reaching 10,000 sites by the end of 2026. AMN is currently rolling out new sites in Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC and Cameroon and plans to reach 5,000 sites by the end of 2024.