Wall Street Journal Names VNL’s Solar Powered GSM as Best Wireless Innovation and Overall Bronze Winner in its 2009 Technology Innovation Awards 15 Sep, 2009

WSJ Technology Innovation Award WinnerVNL is pleased to announce that is has been awarded the Bronze in this year’s Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards. VNL is also led the Wireless category. As John Leger, News Editor of the Wall Street Journal states:

“You should be very proud of this achievement. We received nearly 500 entries, with only about 7% receiving an award. Needless to say, the competition was extremely intense. Full coverage of the awards appears in The Wall Street Journal’s three global editions on Monday as well as online at”

Mr. Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL, will be accepting the award at the awards ceremony and dinner being held October 13 in Redwood City, CA. The ceremony will held in conjunction with the Dow Jones VentureWire Technology Showcase. Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal will be speaking at the event.

To read the article announcing the awards and to get more information about the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards, click here.


VNL bags award from Wall Street Journal
Hindu Business Line – Chennai,India
NEW DELHI: Vihaan Networks Ltd (VNL), a home grown telecom equipment manufacturer, on Tuesday said it has bagged an award from the Wall street Journal for …

VNL’s wins The Wall Street Journal 2009 Technology Innovation Awards
Economic Times – Gurgaon, Haryana, India

VNL also emerged as the winner of the Wireless category. … Founded by Rajiv Mehrotra, VNL is looking to overcome this obstacle with a low-power cellular …

India’s Vihaan Networks bags WSJ’s Technology Innovation Awards
TelecomTiger – New Delhi, India

Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL) said that it has bagged the best wireless innovation … VNL has designed the solution keeping in mind the needs of low cost …


Meet VNL at ITU Telecom World, Geneva, Switzerland: October 5 – 9, 2009 11 Sep, 2009

VNL, a pioneer in green telecom solutions, proudly announces its sponsorship of the Green@ICT Pavilion at ITU Telecom World. The conference and exhibition will be held at the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 5 – 9, 2009. The Green Pavilion is lead by the WMO, a UN Agency, and provides a unique environment, showcasing products and solutions that will be driving the Green@ICT agenda forward. These will include on-grid and off-grid energy efficient solutions, methods of monitoring climate change, managing e-waste, and much more.

At the conference, Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman and CEO of VNL, will be a panel participant at the Green@ICT Forum discussing solar telecom and its impact, enabling human prosperity in remote areas and rural villages through the use of clean and affordable energy. With its virtually limitless supply, solar power has the potential to extend and power a mobile operator’s network affordably, even in the most remote corners of our planet. Learn how VNL’s WorldGSM™ system can do this today.

VNL’s exhibit space at booth #4040.01, near the Registration area, will introduce mobile network operators to the world’s first completely solar-powered WorldGSM™ solution, specifically made for rural areas with ARPUs of less than $2. WorldGSM™ is the first commercially viable GSM system that is independent of the power grid. It runs exclusively on solar power and requires no diesel generator backup. It is also designed for simple delivery and deployment by local, untrained people – all resulting in zero opex, dramatically lower capex, and near zero maintenance. WorldGSM™ has won the “Best Technology Foresight” category at last year’s World Communications Awards and was runner up in the “Green Network Hardware and Infrastructure” category at the 2009 CTIA Wireless E-Tech Awards.

The next billion subscribers will be coming from rural populations, away from saturated urban markets. So if you’re planning to visit ITU Telecom World 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland, stop by VNL’s booth and see the future of rural wireless telephony. VNL is changing the DNA of rural telecom by providing commercially viable new building blocks that will transform the way you build your networks in the future.

Visit us in Booth 4040.01 to learn more. If you would like to schedule a personal tour, click here.

Also visit VNL at:

  • October 27-28, 2009: North AfricaCom, JW Marriot Hotel, Cairo, Egypt
  • Nov 11-12, 2009: AfricaCom, Cape Town Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Feb 15-18, 2010: Mobile World Congress 2010, Fira de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

VNL ( is substantially changing the way operators will build networks in the future. As the innovator of zero opex networks and the pioneer of microtelecom, their simple to install solar powered cellular base stations help mobile operators maximize their profit margins by reaching rural markets profitably. The management team includes telecom industry veterans with vast experience in bringing products and services to entirely new markets. Its Founder, Chairman and CEO, Rajiv Mehrotra, started the Shyam Group of companies and established some of the earliest GSM, CDMA and fixed networks in India serving millions of people today.

For more information, visit the company website at or contact VNL’s PR representative Bridget Fishleigh (+44 7946 342 903, or Skype: bridgetfishleigh).


San Francisco Chronicle: “The Next Billion Cell Phone Users” 18 Aug, 2009

Sometimes there are technologies that just make sense.

by Yobie Benjamin

If you’ve ever traveled the world, you’ll eventually discover that the US mobile phone market and technologies are always about 2 – 4 years behind Japan, Korea, the Nordics and even the Philippines and India. The US with its advanced telecommunication infrastructure is hobbled by its own enormous capital expenditure investments in hardwired systems. Mobile infrastructures in emerging countries have no need to string copper and fiber optics along great distances to deliver widely available communications services. But it is still a struggle to reach billions of people.

Read the complete article at SFGate »

Green Revolution: Vendors Push Low-Energy Gear 23 Jun, 2009

(Article, PDF, 96 KB)

The green theme has taken center stage this week, with vendors stepping up to showcase their low-energy and clean tech credentials.

Leading the charge is Indian vendor VNL, which yesterday launched what it claims is the world’s first 100% solar-powered GSM base station designed specifically for off-grid remote areas. VNL chairman and CEO Rajiv Mehrotra told Show Daily that its WorldGSM(tm) BTS requires almost no opex. The solar panels, which have a life expectancy of 20 years, need to be dusted once a week in most areas.

Read the complete article (PDF) »

Green Planet Episode 4: The Green Telecoms Network 3 Jun, 2009

Today, power consumption is a critical component of the mobile operators’ network infrastructure. Between two to three billion people, roughly a third of the world’s population, are living in energy poverty, and more than 99% of people without electricity live in developing countries. But saving energy is not the sole preserve of developing nations. In developed countries, the rising cost of energy, and the realisation of environmental concerns, means that operators are looking to save money wherever possible. In Episode 4 of TelecomTV’s Green Planet: The Green Telecoms Network, Anil Raj, Director, VNL, is featured showing a live implementation of VNL’s solar powered Village Site base station configuration, located in Rajasthan, India.

To view the programme on TelecomTV’s site, click here.

GSMA Mobile Briefing: “Green with Envy? Base Station Minnows Take on Big Guns” 12 Sep, 2008

By Justin Springham, GSMA’s Mobile Business Briefing Newsletter
12 September, 2008

The mobile industry’s base station equipment sector is not always associated with young, aspiring companies driving development into new growth areas. Dominated by the likes of Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, as well as, in recent times, Chinese equipment vendors Huawei and ZTE, this is a multi-billion dollar market led by a number of high-profile players and primarily focused on delivering technology to support advanced mobile services.

But the phenomenal growth rate of mobile network deployments around the world is paving the way for smaller players to potentially grab a valuable slice of action in an emerging new area.

The mobile industry today serves a staggering 3.2 billion subscribers, almost half the world’s population. More than 90 percent of the roughly 2 billion new subscribers expected to join this community over the next few years will come from emerging markets. According to Unstrung Insider, extending service to the next two billion subscribers will require between 1.5 million and 2 million new base stations, more than half of them located in areas without access to electric grids. And with that comes a huge opportunity for pioneering companies working on a range of alternative ‘green’ energies that can be harnessed to power off-grid radio sites at a fraction of the running cost of diesel-powered generators.

“There is enormous demand in the developing world for alternatively-powered base stations,” believes Dawn Haig-Thomas, Director of the GSMA Development Fund. “There are some 1.6 billion people living off the electricity grid and a further billion living in areas in which the grid power supply is inconsistent. Areas lacking grid power supply today are typically also areas lacking mobile coverage. Operators are desperately seeking cost-effective power solutions that will enable them to extend their networks into these remote areas. With diesel prices making generator solutions less attractive, the focus is now on wind and solar power.”

It’s therefore no surprise that the major base station equipment vendors all currently offer at least one alternative energy-powered solution each, such as solar, wind or biofuels. Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent have separately installed about 400 solar-powered base stations throughout Africa and Asia. A recent Wall Street Journal report claimed that Alcatel-Lucent’s solar base station requires about 750 watts to run, while Ericsson’s solar base station needs about 600 watts (compared to as much as several thousand watts for ‘traditional’ GSM base stations). Both sets of vendor equipment reportedly require technical staff to install them over a course of weeks. In India, IDEA Cellular has also installed around 350 base stations that run on biodiesel, produced from waste vegetable oil, a deployment which began as a pilot in conjunction with Ericsson and the GSMA Development Fund.

Despite these high-profile developments, a small set of vendors focused on the production of alternatively-powered base stations are attracting industry interest. Last month saw the launch of VNL, a Swedish-Indian startup that claims to have spent the past four years developing a simplified GSM base station powered by solar panels and requiring much less power than similar offerings from its larger rivals. VNL says its WorldGSM base station can be installed in rural areas with little professional training and requires up to only 120 watts to run; about the same as a light bulb. The base station costs US$3,500, compared to the US$40,000-US$100,000 price of a traditional electricity-powered GSM base station.

Of course, launching a product – no matter how impressive – and generating commercial success are two different matters, especially for a little-known startup, but VNL isn’t short on confidence as it prepares to take on its heavy-hitting competitors. “We probably have the most sophisticated technology of all vendors,” Board Member Anil Raj told me prior to the company’s official launch. To date the company has signed up Indian infrastructure provider QTIL for trials, and claims that agreements with several ‘prominent’ operators have been reached and are in the process of being finalised.

Meanwhile Sweden-based Flexenclosure touts its E-site product as “the flexible and green base station solution for the global telecom industry.” Already a winner of the 2008 GSMA Mobile Innovation Global Awards, E-site is making a name for itself by claiming to enable operators to cut their operating costs by at least 50% and providing break-even for its customers in 15-18 months. Specifically designed for off-grid locations, Flexenclosure claims E-site can support 3G networks as well as 2G GSM.

Elsewhere, Winafrique is establishing itself as a provider of efficient and sustainable alternative energy solutions for East and Central Africa. Located in Kenya, Winafrique claims to have completed a total of 21 sites powered by wind and solar, including many for regional mobile operator Safaricom, and says it has cut operator costs by up to 70%. And UK-based PowerOasis is another contender, holding claim to a number of successful deployments of renewable power at base stations in both the UK and Africa.

Such companies are demonstrating their potential in what is already a huge market. ABI Research recently reported that the number of off-grid solutions is “extremely high” in Africa (45 percent) and some parts of the Middle East (25%). It noted there are also some relatively high levels of off-grid mobile sites in Asia Pacific (15%).

And it could just be that green power for mobile networks becomes a truly global opportunity for the emerging talents of VNL, Flexenclosure and others. “We expect to see the greatest innovation coming out of Africa and Asia, where the need is currently most acute, which in turn will be adopted by Europe and North America,” says the Development Fund’s Haig-Thomas.

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