WorldGSM™ Q & A

What is WorldGSM™?

WorldGSM™ is VNL’s end-to-end GSM network – designed to help mobile operators reach rural markets profitably.

Traditional GSM was designed for high density, urban markets – not for low density, rural ones. In the rural scenario, it costs too much, is too expensive to run, uses too much power and is too difficult to deploy.

VNL’s WorldGSM™ technology has been specifically developed and re-engineered to overcome three main obstacles:

  1. No electricity – or it’s just on for an hour or so a day
  2. Poor roads. It might take days to reach these areas
  3. No skilled engineers.

How do VNL’s products differ from other GSM systems?

VNL’s WorldGSM™ base stations are fully GSM compliant, so easily link to existing networks. But it’s different from traditional GSM in these important ways:

  • Low power — at between 50 and 120W per base station, the entire system can be run on solar power. No power grid or generator necessary. A traditional GSM base station uses 3000W.
  • Low cost — a fraction of the cost of traditional GSM base stations; profitable at very low densities and ARPUs.
  • Self-deploying — an entire WorldGSM™ Base Station packs into two carts and is easily installed by unskilled field staff that may not be able to read or write. No buildings, power, air conditioning. Just point it south and turn it on.
  • Near-Zero Maintenance — update software remotely and perform simple swap repairs if needed.
  • Cascading Star Architecture — a unique, modular architecture optimised for low-cost rural expansion.

There are three different deployment site scenarios for WorldGSM™: rural, road and village. The system is configured slightly differently for each.

What happens if there’s no sun? How long can the base stations run without sun?

There is a difference between cloudy weather and a totally eclipsed sun. We can provide 65+ hours of safe operation with zero incoming power and 72+ hours during cloudy weather.

Do your networks provide voice and data?

VNL networks provide voice and data – texts photos and emails – and support voicemail.

What handsets can be used with WorldGSM™?

Any GSM or 3G handset.


Facts & figures