In 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. Besides fixed line telephony, BTL provides GSM mobile services under the flagship brand B-Mobile.
VNL partnered B-Mobile to bring GSM connectivity to a cluster of villages around 60 kms from the capital Thimpu, using WorldGSM™ - a sustainable GSM and broadband solution.
Solar powered VNL WorldGSM™ BTS Site in Bhutan with 7 day autonomy - Ideal for cloudy weather conditions.
There are several locations in Bhutan with difficult terrain and hardly any road access where deployment of a traditional GSM network is a challenge. There is no room for the large footprint and civil works of a traditional mobile tower and RF planning is extremely difficult in the mountains and valleys.
In one such location, 60 kms south of the capital Thimpu, is a cluster of six sparsely populated villages- Jangsyena, Gurgaon, Lobnekha, Phudun, Rashigang and Tsephu.
A Slippery Track: Last 100 mts to the WorldGSM™ VBTS Site in Lobnekha (background)
WorldGSM™ VBTS Site Deployed in Rashigang
BTL chose VNL’s WorldGSM™ solution for this cluster. The simple, cost effective and highly energy efficient solution was installed rapidly using local manpower resources. The network connects B-Mobile subscribers in the village and on the roads that lead to the main city.
|Location||VNL Site Configuration|
|Chapcha (BT Site)||E1/Ethernet Convertor +TDN|
|Pepchu (BT Site)||E1/Ethernet Convertor +TDN|
|Chunzom (BT Site)||E1/Ethernet Convertor +TDN|
|Table 1. VNL WorldGSM™ Site Configurations|
Table 1 (Right) shows the site configurations that VNL deployed for BTL. Based on VNL’s Cascading Star Architecture, the deployments are a mix of VNL WorldGSM™ Rural Sites for coverage, WorldGSM™ Village Sites for capacity in the village and Repeater sites from Shyam to overcome terrain challenges.
The entire network was up in record time because of the ease of transport of material even where the last stretch was along slippery dirt tracks and involved a steep climb.Some of the deployments were in places that were created by clearing out a tiny space on a mountain edge – barely enough to accommodate even the small footprint of a VNL WorldGSM™ Rural or Village Site.
VNL WorldGSM™ Sites (RBTS and VBTS) Shown on Google Maps View
It’s impossible to stand and photograph the site up close from most angles.VNL deployed each site in a matter of days using unskilled local manpower who followed simple instructions and required very little supervision.
There were no requirements of skilled technical resources travelling to remote sites and then camping in the village for a lengthy period – something that’s hard to avoid in the case of traditional deployments.
The network has completed over 2 years of successful operation.
More than 56,000 industry visitors, conference speakers and delegates, exhibiting staff and media from around the world attended CommunicAsia 2011 between 21 – 24 June. Occupying three levels of the Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Centre in Singapore, CommunicAsia featured a myriad of key and emerging technologies from backhaul networks and systems integration to software and applications.
VNL’s booth at #1H2-01 was one of the largest and most visible on Level One. Taking up 180 sqm, VNL’s booth showcased an actual Village Site deployment configuration in the VNL booth. New to Asia was the introduction of broadband as part of the WorldGSM™ solution available now for rural areas running exclusively on solar power.
Visitors were also able to see a live commercial deployment in Bhutan illustrating VNL’s optional seven-day backup configuration that stores even more energy for powering the system in foggy and cloudy conditions.
Also at the booth, visitors enjoyed learning more about our deployments in villages in Rajasthan, India.
VNL was very pleased to have ministers from many countries visit our booth to discuss their challenges with deploying projects in rural areas in their countries. N.K. Mohapatra, Head of Sales for the APAC Region, presented to members of the Telecom Ministry of Vietnam.
Also visiting our booth were members of the Telecom Ministry in Qatar.
Over the four days, more than 250 industry luminaries addressed pertinent issues and challenges affecting the ICT industry. These knowledge-sharing opportunities provided conference attendees with invaluable opportunities to network with industry experts and thought leaders from across Asia and the rest of the world. Rajiv Mehrotra, VNL’s Founder, Chairman & CEO, was very busy presenting. On Day Two of the show, he presented the program, “Strategies for Handling the Drastic Increases in Data Transmission Demand”. This program reviewed the growth of data demand and forecasts, and showcased many of the strategies currently being deployed to address the issue. He presented the pros and cons of different technologies, network architectures, and deployment strategies.
During Day Three, Mr. Mehrotra also presented, “The Real Winner – GSM + Wi-Fi” which discussed their ubiquitous nature and how the future will look based on these two technologies. Part of the presentation was centered on how Wi-Fi is built-in to nearly 100% of devices, and that for the majority of users, this will be more than adequate for future growth. He also showcased a solar powered internet kiosk in use in schools in Rajasthan, India, that connected children to the global village. He stated that, even now in the villages, he has seen dramatic use of both voice and data:“The villagers cannot read and write. They can only speak to communicate. Instead of walking ten kilometers, they can now make a simple phone call. This is quite a valuable thing to some rural areas where people must focus on basic daily living activities like gathering water and firewood, farming and herding.”
When asked about data usage and whether anyone in rural areas would ever feel the need for data, Rajiv responded:“We were initially surprised at the volumes of data consumed. Children are downloading infotainment, finding information for their parents. It’s making families closer. Parents become dependent on their children to access the world.”
Following that, he participated in a panel discussion on “Real World Deployments”, along with other equipment manufacturers and operators, discussing the perils and pitfalls of different deployment strategies, what worked, what didn’t and how to plan better, more efficient and robust networks across Asia.
In 2007, Indian companies acquired more than $18bn worth of western companies. And in the past four years, the Indian economy has grown by 9% every year.
A prime example of the Indian acquisition trend is the recent takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover by Tata. The world economy has, as Aditya Chakrabortty just wrote for the Guardian, tilted. In the favour of Asia.
But the big impacts of the new Asian economies aren’t mainly the acquisitions. It’s the prices of oil and commodities like steel that have burst through the ceilings thanks to a highly increased demand from the likes of India and China.
It’s quite logical. As The Guardian puts it;
India and China have such big populations that, as they get tied into the global economy, they can’t help but have huge impacts on the rest of the world.
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