The world’s largest GSM conference and expo attracted even more exhibitors and visitors than last year. The show received a staggering increase in attendance and that resulted in even more numbers of attendees visiting our booth.
View of Booth from Hall 2 Entrance at Mobile World Congress 2011
VNL’s booth at #2B47, along with Shyam Telecom and Shyam Networks across the aisle at #2B33, were the largest and most visible in Hall 2. Taking up 234 sqm in total, VNL’s booth showcased an actual Village Site deployment configuration in the VNL booth.
VNL’s booth at Mobile World Congress 2011.
Solar and other alternative energy-based solutions were available all over the floor, from solar, wind, and hybrid systems to a variety of fuel-cells. It is clear that the telecom industry has taken up the mantle to deploy more green telecom solutions in the coming years and many of the operators we spoke with are ready to deploy new green powered technologies in the near future. VNL was busy completing a number of MOUs and orders from the meeting rooms in our booth at the show. These orders are the culmination of the many trial deployments we’ve deployed on three continents over the past year.
Rajiv Mehrotra speaks with Shri. Sachin Pilot, Hon. Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology, Govt. of India at Mobile World Congress 2011
The bottom line? In our opinion, Africa is at the forefront, with more mobile operators at the testing or deployment stage using non-traditional power sources for their mobile networks. Latin America is showing signs of increased use of green telecom, especially for intra-city coverage along highways. Asia, for VNL, has more deployments on the ground now, radiating and starting to connect the next billion. We were glad to be able to present our products to a seasoned crowd of operators already working in the same direction – connecting rural networks in a sustainable and affordable manner that serves the underserved across the world.
Rajiv Mehrotra discusses how mobile operators can become broadband service providers with minimal investment with Dr. J. S. Sarma, Chairperson, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India at Mobile World Congress 2011
Signage at the show covered VNL’s unique Cascading Star Architecture and new Infrastructure Sharing concept to visitors to the booth.
Rajiv Mehrotra discusses VNL’s new multi-operator infrastructure sharing capabilities with Shri. Sachin Pilot, Hon. Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology, Govt. of India at Mobile World Congress 2011
Rajiv Mehrotra introduces Cascading Star Architecture with Broadband to visitors to the booth.
VNL’s pioneering work has been widely praised: in December, VNL won the Telecom Asia Readers Choice Award. In 2010, Fast Company named VNL one of the “Fast 50: The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies”. In December, 2009, VNL was named as a Technology Pioneer 2010 by The World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org). In November, 2009, VNL was selected as a 2009 Top Pick and named as a company to watch in the wireless infrastructure market by Light Reading, a specialist telecoms analyst and publishing house. In September, 2009, it was named the third most innovative company – and the most innovative telecoms company – in the world in the Wall Street Journal’s annual Technology Innovation Awards. VNL also won the “Best Technology Foresight” category at the 2008 World Communications Awards and came second in the “Green Network Hardware and Infrastructure” category at the 2009 CTIA Wireless E-Tech Awards.
Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL, speaks with visitors to the booth.
Contrasting the buzz about high speed data, iPhone replicas, mobile TV, convergence and various value added services, VNL’s rural telecom initiative was received as an unusual and appreciated effort at this year’s congress.
Visitor numbers were notably lower than last year, likely due to the impact of the current global recession and the followed layoffs and operational reductions among mobile operators and vendors alike.
With a looming energy crisis around the corner – slightly curbed by recently lowered fuel prices but still on the center stage – it’s evident that mobile operators take energy consumption reduction efforts seriously. Many vendors were showcasing alternative power solutions, and new innovations in energy efficiency.
Bergey Windpower stood out as a prominent inventor within wind power solutions. And PowerOasis have created an innovative power management system – well suited for mobile operators that are looking at retro-fitting existing installations with renewable energy alternatives.
VNL’s booth at MWC 2009
As far as the rural telecom space goes, VNL generated quite a bit of buzz by showcasing WorldGSM™ for the first time. Seeing the prominently located Village Site for the first time, some visitors thought we were solar panel vendors. As a regular reader of this blog, you know that this is far from the truth. The Village Site is a breakthrough in telecom innovation – the smallest, most energy efficient GSM base station ever built. So simple to deploy that local workers can install it in just six hours.
Visitors reacted very positively to the fact that WorldGSM™ is a complete GSM system – not just a conventional base station retrofitted with solar panels. And that it doesn’t compare with conventional GSM equipment but is entirely designed to extend existing networks – helping mobile operators expand their reach beyond what’s possible today.
Many were also pleasantly surprised to hear that a Village Site only needs about 50W of power – lightbulb wattage.
We’d like to thank our team and all our booth visitors, customers and partners for making VNL’s participation in MWC 2009 such a success! We look forward to interacting with all of you again at Communicasia 2009 in Singapore, 16th-19th of June.
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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