Startup equipment vendor Vihaan Networks Ltd. (VNL) thinks it has the answer to bringing GSM cellular coverage to the masses of rural India. The Indian-Swedish firm has unveiled a range of solar-powered GSM base stations that will be shipped to rural villages in India in flat packs, IKEA-style.
Unstrung met with VNL’s CEO, Anil Raj, recently and he explained that the aim is for anyone to be able to install these GSM base stations and systems. “There will be no written instructions, so anyone, even illiterate people, can install these. The instructions will be all pictoral,” he says. “They run on solar — the only maintenance is wiping away the bird droppings.”