SayCel: Community Based Cellular Networks

Edwin Reed-Sanchez

SayCel is Nicaragua's first community owned and operated cellular network that re-imagines a holistic approach to communication infrastructure.


While living in Nicaragua I was astounded by the price of a cellular call. 1 dollar top-up is about 3 minutes of talk time. This is hefty price for people who make $2 a day.

SayCel is a social business that installs low cost cellular networks in rural, and underdeveloped communities using open source software and links customers to good quality connections to voice-over-IP (VoIP) calls to other regions and countries.

SayCel pilot was on Little Corn Island, a developing Caribbean community with a population of 1200 people. The documentation of this installation provides a toolkit for future cellular installations.