Are Telecom Universal Service Funds outdated?
Universal Service or Access Funds (which go by different names in different countries) are a mechanism by which a national regulatory authority mandates, oversees and/or coordinates a set of subsidies and fees designed to promote access to telecommunication services for all of a country's population. [...]
Simplifying access to healthcare with connectivity
Access to quality healthcare is always a challenge in rural areas. Villagers rarely get the benefit of quality doctors and clinics and hospitals with modern facilities unless they travel long distances. Residents of Karenda, a modest village in Alwar, Rajasthan, faced exactly this situation until recently. Because the nearest hospital is 50 kms away, the sick and elderly in the village had to travel a long way to get medical treatment, thereby losing precious money and time. [...]
The North-East gets a Voice
Ever since independence, the North-Eastern part of India has been neglected. Surrounded by foreign nations and connected to the mainland just by a thin land corridor, the Seven Sisters have lagged socio-economic development because of lack of infrastructure and connectivity. Plagued by difficult terrain including heavily forested areas and recurrent tribal insurgency, the sparse population in the North East has remained virtually isolated from the bigger world. [...]
USFs - Passive funds or active instruments of social change?
Telecom USFs have been around in many countries, but are a relatively new construct in some others, especially in emerging nations. Whether examined scholastically or by practitioners on the ground, there has been much debate about whether USFs are a workable idea to extend connectivity to those sections of society that need it most. [...]
Simplifying lives in Karenda with e-Governance
People living in urban areas are privileged, when it comes to accessing basic government services. Moreover, in the last few years, most of these services have been successfully ported online. Today, it is hard to imagine that one must travel 50 km for obtaining documents such as Aadhar cards, passports, or vehicle registration papers! Read VNL’s Position Paper on Digital Villages here. [...]
Thank You World, says Karenda
Two years ago, nobody in Karenda, a modest village in Rajasthan, would have believed that one day ministers and dignitaries from the across the world would be visiting their tiny village. The transformation of Karenda has been such that it has become an inspiring stopover for people from the world’s telecom fraternity, many of who make it a point to visit the village to experience how VNL’s Digital Village solution functions, first-hand. Read VNL’s Position Paper on Digital Villages here. [...]
Karenda’s e-Education experiment: letting students learn better
ICT-led development is one of India’s priorities and the government is going all out to improve digital connectivity everywhere. But is it enough and more importantly can this be achieved in time? Students in rural India continue to lose out on opportunities as the process of ensuring connectivity everywhere takes it own sweet time. But for Karenda, a smartDigital Village enabled by VNL, the change has already begun. Read along to know more [...]
Changing the face of Karenda.
At first sight, Karenda looks just like any other village; full of fresh air and happy people. However, on closer inspection, we see how digitization has taken the village to new heights. Since VNL set up Wi-Fi connectivity for the village in March 2015, there has been an influx of smartphone users and the number continues to grow. The benefits of access to the internet have been manifold, with the villagers taking advantage of better connectivity in all aspects of their lives. [...]
Towards a true cashless economy
It’s turning out that one of the most significant positive effects of the recent demonetization is the drive towards a digital economy. With necessity driving innovation, the volume of cashless transactions in India has increased dramatically—upto 1000% as per some estimates—since 8th November. Is this enough? Could we do more? What enablers need to be put in place for a steady and faster move towards a digital economy? How do we mitigate the problems faced by the common man as the transition continues? The debate continues to rage, and has occupied centre-stage in most media for the whole month. [...]
BSNL CMD talks about Connecting the Unconnected in LWE
10 states, 106 districts, 22,688 connected villages and 18 million connected citizens using 39 lakh mobile connections. That’s the impact of the 2199 green mobile towers that BSNL has set up in LWE affected states in record time, according to Mr Anupam Shrivastava, CMD, BSNL while speaking in a programme about connecting unconnected parts of India, on Economy Today on 7th December 2016. [...]
How do you make a happy nation happier?
Even as Bhutan opens itself cautiously to the rest of the world, one of the biggest challenges is to connect its hinterland. Daunting terrain and sparse population have always hindered infrastructural development in the interiors of the Happy Kingdom. [...]
Connectivity in LWE Region: Made in India
Recognizing that combating insurgency-hit areas in India’s Red Corridor must include the provision of a robust communication network as an important element of its strategy, the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to build a mobile phone network in the most-affected regions. These regions include some of the most hostile terrain in the country, with practically no roads, power or security. Against such imposing challenges, VNL has helped BSNL set up 2199 solar-powered mobile communication towers in a record time of 18 months, altering not just the geographical, but critically, the social landscape of the area. [...]
Domestic Manufacturers may lose out to Domestic ‘Importers’ if the government’s new PMA Policy is approved.
A storm is brewing for the last couple of months in the Indian telecom manufacturing industry because instead of encouraging import substitution, the Indian government has drafted a proposal which will make the playing field even more uneven, in favour of foreign electronic goods and services. Till now 30% of the total quota in government procurement of electronic productions (manufacturing) is reserved for domestic manufacturers, which will not be the case anymore. [...]
A Green Mobile Network in India’s Red Corridor
How do you set up mobile networks in areas affected by insurgency? Especially when there are no roads or electricity? Welcome to India’s Red Corridor, some of the most hostile terrain in the country, with practically no roads, power or security. Here, in the worst left-wing extremism (LWE) affected districts of Indian states, 1315 solar-powered mobile communication towers have been setup in a record time of less than a year. [...]
We agree - Needed, a policy to boost Indian R&D: ET Editorials
Telecom is hot right now. Interconnect, call-drops, TRAI, spectrum are all in the news. But perhaps it's time to take a step back and view the sector with a long-term perspective. That the sector will grow at breakneck pace is a no-brainer. But what about targeting self-sufficiency in this area? [...]
The world’s largest green mobile communication network is now live!
Can mobile towers light up lives, connect families, open doors to the world, provide livelihoods, and make lives easier? Yes, they can! Here’s the story of how, quietly but surely, the first major milestone of the Prime Minister’s Digital India Mission has taken wing, with a mobile phone network now connecting regions worst affected by Left-Wing extremism. [...]
Union Budget: Rural thrust for inclusive growth - Vision fulfillment with Broadband Access
It is encouraging to see that the Union Budget 2016-17 has its greatest emphasis on rural economy. The special thrust on Rural India, reinforces the Government’s commitment to focus on equitable growth areas in urban and rural sectors. [...]
Making Digital India a reality – Connecting remote villages with solar-powered Wi-Fi
Karenda, a Rajasthan village situated 80 kms from Delhi, doesn’t have access to electricity. However, children in this remote village have access to world-class education facilities in the form of a smart classroom – much to the delight of the over-enthused students. The system, enabled by VNL’s path-breaking technology, runs on Wi-Fi connectivity powered by solar energy at the roof of the school building. [...]
VNL Participates in India Telecom 2016, 7th Reverse Buyer Seller Meet
2015 was an eventful year for VNL, as we rolled out the world’s largest completely solar-powered GSM Network in India for unconnected and under-served rural locations. And now, we’re all set to be a part of the 7th Reverse Buyer Seller Meet on February 12th – 13th 2016, being organized at Ball Room, Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, 19 Ashoka Road, New Delhi. [...]
VNL teams up with Gilat for Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) in Benin
Team VNL is proud to be associated with Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) for the launch of their commercial service in Benin. [...]
Connecting villages in Bhutan for B-Mobile
the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan the breathtaking beauty of its mountains is also its biggest challenge when it comes to creating infrastructure for telecom. Bhutan Telecom Limited (BTL) is the leading provider of telecommunications and internet services in Bhutan. [...]
The power of mobile phones
“I feel like I’m human now, not cut-off from my world, no longer isolated” were the words of Ram Kishan, in a village of Alwar district ,commenting on the power of his mobile phone, in an interview for the ITU-UN film “ICT’s for a Better Future”. [...]
ITU–VNL partnership project in TashiCell Bhutan network at Chamgang
Bhutan’s first private mobile company Tashi InfoComm Limited (TICL) – popularly known as TashiCell – has selected VNL’s WorldGSM™ solution to connect remote communities in the Himalayan Kingdom. [...]
WorldGSM™ for Micronesia GSM network in the West Pacific Ocean
Another long journey for VNL – over 8000 kilometers east of India – took us to the middle of the western Pacific Ocean to the Federated States of Micronesia where local operator FSMTC (Federated States of Micronesia Telecommunications Corporation) has selected VNL’s WorldGSM™ solution for GSM connectivity at locations on the islands of Pohnpei and Yap. [...]
Wrap Up of Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain February 27 – March 1, 2012.
The world’s largest industry defining B2B event in telecommunications attracted over 67,000 attendees this year. [...]
VNL Participates at Mobile World Congress 2012
VNL will be showcasing the dramatic OPEX savings achieved by WorldGSM™ sites deployed in Africa and the powerful payback proposition on CAPEX invested in these sites. For years we have heard that renewables take too long for payback. [...]