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.
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.
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