VNL Shortlisted in the m-Business & Commerce Category for the 2010 South Asia mBillionth Award 28 Jun, 2010

VNL has been shortlisted in the m-Business & Commerce category for the 2010 mBillionth award sponsored by the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF).

The award has been instituted for projects that best fulfill the category criteria, which is the use of mobile and complementing applications and embedded services for support and optimization of business processes; creation of new business models in commerce like m-commerce, business to business, business to consumers, internet security and other areas; supporting small and medium enterprises in the marketplace, m-Banking like banking services, microfinance and micro-banking through mobile devices, etc.

The mBillionth Committee chose VNL’s WorldGSM® from over 200 nominations that were received. The nominations came from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Maldives.

The awards Grand Jury met in Colombo, Sri Lanka on June 11th and 12th to choose the final winners. Their names will be announced at the Inter Continental Hotel, Nehru Place in New Delhi, India on July 23, 2010.

About the mBillionth Award (
mBillionth Award honours the potential of the mobile sector across South Asia. These phones and mobile gadgets can now do anything from allowing physicians to review patient records on-the-go, to alerting drivers in any city of nearby parking spaces while looking for a spot, in addition to the texting, surfing and calling capabilities of many of today’s phones.

The mBillionth Award South Asia 2010 is first of its kind in the region recognising and facilitating mobile innovations, applications and content services delivery. It is to honour excellence in mobile communications across South Asia spread over nine core categories. The mBillionth Award is South Asia’s leading mobile content award aimed at a larger, regional mobile congress in media and policy advocacy.

About Digital Empowerment Foundation (
The Digital Empowerment Foundation is a Delhi based not-for-profit organization that seeks to find solutions to bridge the digital divide. With no political affiliations, it was founded by Osama Manzar to uplift the downtrodden and to create economic and commercial viability using Information Communication and Technology as means.

DEF’s mission is to see widespread development, use, promotion, and accessibility of affordable digital content based on cultural specifics or language necessities. The mission is to enable communities to be aware and conscious of the utility and necessity of using ICT for their empowerment.


VNL’s Solar Powered GSM Base Stations to Be Part of ITU School and Community Network Initiatives in South Asia 7 Jun, 2010

New Delhi – Friday, 4 June 2010: VNL today announced that its award-winning solar-powered GSM base stations will be used to build ITU sponsored networks in South Asia. The networks are being built as part of the ITU’s Connect a School, Connect a Community initiative, a public-private partnership run by the ITU to promote broadband Internet connectivity for schools in developing countries around the world. The VNL networks will provide both GSM and mobile broadband coverage to schools and villages in remote rural areas in South Asia – and will go live during Q4 2010.

Mr. Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL (left) and Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau (right) at the quadrennial ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC 10) in Hyderabad, India.
Mr. Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL (left) and Mr. Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (right) at the quadrennial ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC 10) in Hyderabad, India.

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.

VNL’s solar-powered WorldGSM base station has been specifically designed to enable mobile operators to reach remote rural areas where ARPUs are less than $2 a month – and still make a profit.

Mr Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder Chairman and CEO of VNL said:

“The ITU has recognised that our equipment is unlike anything else available on the market today. It was developed for deployments just like these in rural Asia where people have never had access to telephony.”

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.

VNL’s pioneering work has been widely praised; In December VNL was named as a technology pioneer by The World Economic Forum ( 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 in second in the “Green Network Hardware and Infrastructure” category at the 2009 CTIA Wireless E-Tech Awards.

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


  • 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 Watts per base station compared to the 3,000 Watts required for traditional GSM. Each site can be powered by two 4 m² solar panels, rather than the 200 m² panel required to power a traditional GSM base station.

For more information, visit or contact VNL’s international PR representative Bridget Fishleigh: +44 7946 342 903,, Skype: bridgetfishleigh. In India, please contactManoj Bhan: +91 99 999 66056, (more…)