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Jaap van de Beek, Luleå University of Technology Photo: Linda Alfredsson
Jaap van de Beek, Professor of Signal Processing at Luleå University of Technolgy. Photo: Linda Alfredsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Solar power can solve the problem of broadband in rural areas

Published: 28 October 2016

Solar power could be the solution to poor mobile coverage in rural areas. Researchers at Luleå University of Technology have been looking at new opportunities to boost the broadband access in rural areas, a neglected area where political promises collide with reality.

– Digging for electricity and to build new masts in rural areas is expensive for operators, says Jaap van de Beek, Professor of Signal Processing. 

Together with research colleagues of Electric Power Engineering, Professor Math Bollen and Senior Lecturer Anders Larsson, and Mats Eriksson, Arctos Labs, Jaap van de Beek has done a research report to investigate if solar power can be utilized in a more cost-effectively way and support small base stations with electricity and thus accelerate the deployment of mobile broadband in rural areas.

No broadband equals problems

The study is part of a long-term project with the objective that there should be first-class mobile coverage in rural areas in ten years. Jaap van de Beek believes that the failure to broadband deployment is a serious problem for the population and entrepreneurs operating in rural areas.

– Our report addresses operators and managers, and is a first attempt to lower the thresholds for the operators to begin expanding in these areas, he says.

The research is conducted within the framework of the university's area of excellence in research and innovation, Enabling ICT. They are now looking for new funding to pursue new and cheaper technology that increases operators' willingness to invest.


Jaap van de Beek

Jaap van de Beek, Professor, Chaired Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 493383
Organisation: Signal Processing, Signals and Systems, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering