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Meet VNL at Mobile World Congress 12 Feb, 2009

This is the time of the year when everyone in the telecom industry gears up for the premier annual event – the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, 16-19 of February.

VNL has dual presence at this year’s congress. Our main booth is located in Hall 2 (B69), and we also have a booth in GSMA’s Green Zone (in Hall 2 as well).

Our participation this year is quite special as we will showcase our award-winning WorldGSM™ system – the solar powered GSM system for rural areas.

As a regular reader of the VNL blog, you already know that WorldGSM is the first commercially viable GSM system for rural areas with ARPUs of less than $2. That it uses solar power as its single energy source – no diesel generators required. And that it’s made for simple delivery and deployment by local workers – all resulting in zero opex, dramatically lower capex and near zero maintenance.

The bottom line: mobile operators now have a way to provide mobile services to rural communities in the developing world – and still turn a profit.

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

If you’re a mobile operator, you’re well aware that your urban subscriber growth is flattening out, and that you’re going to have to look further afield for your next million subscribers. So if you’re planning to visit the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, save half an hour for us. We’ll show you something that will completely transform your thinking about how to profitably reach your next million subscribers.

You’re very welcome to visit us at Hall 2, Booth B69. We look forward to seeing you there!

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2 comments to “Meet VNL at Mobile World Congress”

  1. When rural india and africa get connected (effectively the base of the economic pyramid), where they cannot afford toilets and tractors on their farms, yet splurge on mobile phones, who exactly are they calling and how do they pay for service (ongoing). If this is where the future market growth is coming from how do the operators service this next wave profitably?

    Written by Terry on April 2nd, 2009 at 11:52 pm

  2. Very good question, Terry. First, we need to question whether traditional western flush toilets are actually an improvement. They waste a precious resource that is hard to come by in many rural areas just to satisfy the residents’ daily need for drinking water. Speaking of wasting precious resources, it is not unusual to learn that helicopters fly in the diesel required to power base stations in wireless networks already in operation in rural areas of India. In a recent ABI Research report (‘Mobile Networks Go Green’), an estimated 1.8bn litres of diesel are used each year to fuel mobile phone networks in India alone.

    Being able to integrate new technology within a local frame of reference will enable local communities to empower themselves and improve their economic level and level of those around them. When wireless network base stations are solar powered, the fuel used is clean and renewable. There are no operating costs. The installation can be completed by a few people with no training. The boxes can be hauled to the site through traditional methods, such as a bullock cart. Entrepreneurs in these villages will be able to connect consumers with the networks, providing jobs and adding to the local community. It becomes a win-win situation for the mobile network operators and those in the local community they serve.

    What will these next billion users do with their phones? Easy… same as you use your phone. Think of all the things you do that would be harder to do without the phone, meeting up with friends, arranging meetings with your employees, contacting emergency services… Farmers use their phones to inquire about the price of wheat, the elderly contact the ministry to ask questions about their pensions, students call agencies to follow up on their scholarship applications. Staying connected has nothing to do with your location or income level. It has everything to do with making a better life for yourself.

    Written by jeanne.heydecker on April 22nd, 2009 at 11:24 am

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