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Smartphone.biz-news.com: “Voices of the Industry” 22 Feb, 2010

MWC 2010: Interview with Rajiv Mehrotra, CEO of VNL

Watch the video interview with Rajiv Mehrotra, the Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL, the first and only company to have found a way of building sustainable telephone networks for the three billion people (half the world’s population) who live in rural areas not covered by a mobile network.

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Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for Best Green Programme Product or Initiative 17 Feb, 2010

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for  Best Green Programme Product or Initiative

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL. Free for press use.

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Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for Best Green Programme Product or Initiative

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for  Best Green Programme Product or Initiative

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL. Free for press use.

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(Photo, JPEG, 3.8 MB)

VNL press photos ↓
(VNL press photos, ZIP, 47.6 MB)

Live from Mobile World Congress: VNL Wins Green Mobile Award for Best Green Programme Product or Initiative

Barcelona, Spain: VNL is proud to announce the receipt of GSMA’s 2010 “Green Mobile – Best Green Programme Product or Initiative” Award during Mobile World Congress’ Global Mobile Awards Ceremony. The judges stated that selection was made based on the sheer number of people who’s lives could be changed through deployment of VNL’s technology:

“This is a real breakthrough, with potential, huge impact for billions of people in rural villages. It could have significant impact in allowing rural communities to have access to affordable mobile communications.”


Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL accepted the award on behalf of the VNL team. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Mehrotra stated:

“Three billion people are not covered by a network. Most of these people live in areas without electricity. Our zero OPEX, solar powered GSM base stations will help mobile operators reach them affordably. Thank you to the GSMA for acknowledging our mission.”

VNL’s zero-opex solar-powered WorldGSM™ base station – developed specifically for use in rural areas where people have less than US$2 a month to spend on their phone bills was shortlisted in both the ‘best network innovation’ and the ‘best green programme, product or initiative’ categories.

VNL is the first and only company to have found a way of building sustainable telephone networks for the three billion people (half the world’s population) who live in rural areas not covered by a mobile network. Of this number, some 1.6 billion people have no electricity and another one billion live in areas with unreliable access to power (GSMA figures).


VNL’s pioneering work has been widely praised: earlier this week, Fast Company named VNL one of the “Fast 50: The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” for 2010. In December, VNL was named as a Technology Pioneer 2010 by The World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org). In September it was named the third most innovative company – and the most innovative telecoms company – in the world in the Wall Street Journal’s annual Technology Innovation Awards. In November VNL was selected as a 2009 Top Pick and named as a company to watch in the wireless infrastructure market by Light Reading, a specialist telecoms analyst and publishing house. VNL also won the “Best Technology Foresight” category at the 2008 World Communications Awards and came second in the “Green Network Hardware and Infrastructure” category at the 2009 CTIA Wireless E-Tech Awards.

For more information, visit www.vnl.in or contact VNL’s PR representative Bridget Fishleigh +44 7946 342 903, bridget@nomadcomms.com

VNL at Mobile World Congress

VNL, a pioneer in green telecom solutions, is showcasing its solar powered WorldGSM™ base station at Mobile World Congress, held at the Fira de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, from February 15 – 18, 2010.


VNL’s exhibition space in Hall 2 at Mobile World Congress 2010
.

VNL’s solar-powered WorldGSM™ base station drew crowds, as attendees from five continents visited the booth. VNL’s exhibit space introduced mobile network operators and other visitors to the world’s first completely solar-powered WorldGSM™ solution, specifically made for rural areas with ARPUs of less than $2. WorldGSM™ is the first commercially viable GSM system that is independent of the power grid. It runs exclusively on solar power and requires no diesel generator backup. It is also designed for simple delivery and deployment by local, untrained people – all resulting in zero opex, dramatically lower capex, and near zero maintenance.


Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL discussing the benefits of the solar powered WorldGSM™ base station with a visitor to the booth
.

On Tuesday, VNL was named the winner of GSMA’s 2010 “Green Mobile – Best Green Programme Product or Initiative” Award during Mobile World Congress’ Global Mobile Awards Ceremony. The judges stated that selection was made based on the sheer number of people whose lives could be changed through deployment of VNL’s technology:

“This is a real breakthrough, with potential, huge impact for billions of people in rural villages. It could have significant impact in allowing rural communities to have access to affordable mobile communications.”


Rajiv Mehrotra accepts the Green Mobile – Best Green Programme Product or Initiative Award at the Global Mobile Awards Ceremony

VNL’s pioneering work has been widely praised: earlier this week, Fast Company named VNL one of the “Fast 50: The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” for 2010. In December, VNL was named as a Technology Pioneer 2010 by The World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org). In September it was named the third most innovative company – and the most innovative telecoms company – in the world in the Wall Street Journal’s annual Technology Innovation Awards. In November VNL was selected as a 2009 Top Pick and named as a company to watch in the wireless infrastructure market by Light Reading, a specialist telecoms analyst and publishing house. VNL also won the “Best Technology Foresight” category at the 2008 World Communications Awards and came second in the “Green Network Hardware and Infrastructure” category at the 2009 CTIA Wireless E-Tech Awards.


VNL’s exhibition space featured a wall mural showcasing a live deployment of the WorldGSM™ solar powered base station in Rajasthan, India
.

The next billion subscribers will be coming from rural populations, away from saturated urban markets. VNL is changing the DNA of rural telecom by providing commercially viable new building blocks that will transform the way you build your networks in the future. If you missed Mobile World Congress, you can still see WorldGSM™ for yourself before 2010 ends. VNL will be exhibiting its solar powered base station at East Africa Com in Nairobi, April 27 & 28, 2010 and at Africa Com in Cape Town, South Africa, November 10 & 11, 2010.


VNL intends to work closely with several operators on three continents to deploy solar powered WorldGSM™ by the end of the year.

[photos by Saurabh Joshi, VNL]

VNL named one of Fast Company’s “Fast 50: The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” 16 Feb, 2010

Fast Company has named VNL as #39 of “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” in the March, 2010 issue.

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL, stated:

It is always good to see people acknowledge and value what VNL is trying to accomplish. Connecting the unconnected in an affordable and sustainable manner is a vital part of our mission. We hope to surpass their expectations in 2010 and look forward to a more global sustainable telecom network infrastructure in the future.

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VNL’s Solar-Powered GSM Base Station Shortlisted for Two GSMA Awards at Mobile World Congress; To Announce Deployment Progress in India, Africa and South East Asia at Show 15 Feb, 2010

The GSMA has announced the shortlist for its prestigious Global Mobile Awards 2010.

VNL’s zero-opex solar-powered GSM base station – developed specifically for use in rural areas where people have less than US$2 a month to spend on their phone bills – has been shortlisted in both the ‘best network innovation’ and the ‘best green programme, product or initiative’ categories.

VNL is the first and only company to have found a way of building sustainable telephone networks for the three billion people (half the world’s population) who live in rural areas not covered by a mobile network. Of this number, some 1.6 billion people have no electricity and another one billion live in areas with unreliable access to power (GSMA figures).

VNL’s pioneering work has been widely praised; In December VNL was named as a technology pioneer by The World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org). In September it was named the third most innovative company – and the most innovative telecoms company – in the world in the Wall Street Journal’s annual Technology Innovation Awards. In November VNL was selected as a 2009 Top Pick and named as a company to watch in the wireless infrastructure market by Light Reading, a specialist telecoms analyst and publishing house. VNL also won the “best technology foresight” category at the 2008 World Communications Awards and came second in the “Green Network Hardware and Infrastructure” category at the 2009 CTIA Wireless E-Tech Awards.

VNL will be exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress (hall 2 booth B33).

Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA, said:

“Competition for these awards is fierce, with more than 500 entries – including many of an exceptional standard – and a highly discerning independent judging panel to impress; to be shortlisted is quite an achievement.”

OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO RURAL MARKETS

For years, operators and GSM equipment vendors have struggled with the same problem: Traditional telecom equipment is not designed for the unique challenges posed by remote rural areas. It costs too much, is too expensive to run, uses too much power and is too difficult to deploy (especially in areas with no electricity, poor roads and a lack of trained engineers).
VNL has spent the last six years re-engineering GSM to overcome these challenges. The result is WorldGSM – the world’s first truly environmentally sustainable mobile network

VNL’s WorldGSM overcomes the many barriers to serving rural markets. The system integrates with existing GSM macro networks and extends them into previously unreachable rural areas. It is 3GPP compliant and compatible with all standard handsets. The highlights:

  • Zero OPEX – made possible by major reductions in power consumption; allowing for the use of solar power as the single energy source. No diesel generators are required.
  • Low CAPEX – priced at less than traditional GSM base stations -so that it’s profitable even at very low population densities and ARPU levels.
  • Rural-optimised and easy to transport – compact and rugged; can even be transported on bullock carts.
  • Self-deploying and near-zero maintenance –can be installed in just six hours by two unskilled people.
  • Solar powered – needs only 50 – 150 W per base station compared to the 3000 W required for traditional GSM. Each site can be powered by a 2-8 m² solar panel, rather than the 200 m² panel required to power a traditional GSM base station.

WorldGSM opens up a new microtelecom business model where operators partner with local entrepreneurs to accelerate deployment and reduce costs still further.

VNL’s WorldGSM has been installed in more than 50 villages in rural Rajasthan, India’s largest state; for the first time these rural communities have network coverage. Unlike traditional GSM base stations, the village sites need no shelter, air conditioning, mains power, generator or diesel fuel. Operators in Africa and South East Asia are also rolling out networks.

For more information, visit www.vnl.in or contact VNL’s PR representative Bridget Fishleigh +44 7946 342 903, bridget@nomadcomms.com