The power of mobile phones 16 Mar, 2012

The Power of Mobile Phones in Rural World by VNL

“I feel like I’m human now, not cut-off from my world, no longer isolated” were the words of Ram Kishan, in a village of Alwar district ,commenting on the power of his mobile phone, in an interview for the ITU-UN film “ICT’s for a Better Future”. His village was connected to the BSNL Rajasthan network through VNL’s solar powered GSM and Broadband solution as part of a pilot project for India’s USO Fund. You can see the film clip of Ram Kishan’s village and VNL’s solar powered WorldGSM™ base station here:

Mobile phones are driving economic growth in the developing world. But that’s not all – networks in developing countries also have valuable lessons to offer the West. Read more in this interesting article by Suzie Christodulu in cellular-news.


Rajiv Mehrotra in the Global Telecoms Business Power 100 for 2011 1 Oct, 2011

Power 100 Logo

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman and CEO of VNL, is at the 66th position in this year’s Global Telecoms Business Power 100 list.

Excerpt from the list:

“Rajiv Mehotra is chairman of the Shyam group, one of the main players in the Indian market. He is powerful because of what his vision and what he creates. Here is what his companies have achieved this year including launch of a new company. Shyam is India’s leading diversified telecommunications group, including Sistema Shyam Teleservices a joint venture with Russia’s Sistema to provide voice and data services under the MTS brand in India. The group includes VNL, which develops sustainable solutions for wireless voice and broadband networks: its WorldGSM solution has been deployed in networks in 10 countries and now has a partnership with Tower Bersama to sell, deploy and support solar powered GSM and broadband infrastructure.”

Dr. Hamadoun Touré of International Telecommunication Union, heads the 2011 Global Telecoms Business Power 100 followed by the CEOs of some of the world’s greatest companies — AT&T, Verizon, Telefónica and Google.

See the entire Power 100 list at the Global Telecoms Business website.

PRESS RELEASE: USOF India Certifies VNL’s Multi-Award-Winning Solar-Powered GSM System 11 Aug, 2011

Administrator USOF Mr. Ajay Bhattacharya handing over the
Certificate of Completion to Mr. Rajiv Mehrotra, Chairman & CEO of VNL.

New Delhi, August 10 2011
The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, has awarded certificate of successful completion of project to Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL), an Indian manufacturer of telecommunications infrastructure equipment, establishing benefits of its new technological development of GSM Cellular Rural Telephony Solution to address the challenges of the rural telecom sector. The certificate was presented to VNL by the Administrator USOF Mr. Ajay Bhattacharya, who expressed his happiness on the successful completion of the project.

The USOF has found VNL’s WorldGSM™ solution to be: environmentally-friendly and suitable for deployment in Rural and Remote villages; industrial areas with low capacity requirement; and isolated areas which have limited or no grid power and poor infrastructure.

VNL’s WorldGSM™ telecom network infrastructure solution for remote locations, villages and small towns provides both voice and data (broadband).

VNL had entered into a MoU with the USOF in September 2009, and has successfully completed the Pilot Project for demonstration of the capabilities of its Rural Mobile GSM Solution in Alwar District of Rajasthan, India, in association with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL).

According to the USOF, the VNL system successfully demonstrated the following salient features:

  • Low Power consumption system
  • Outdoor tower /Pole mountable Rural and Village BTS sites operating exclusively on solar energy
  • Environmental friendliness
  • Distributed capacity, coverage and connectivity architecture
  • Integrated Backhaul for Point-to-point and Point-to-Multipoint BTS connectivity
  • Wi-Fi broadband capabilities

The USO certificate was awarded following a year long deployment of VNL’s solar-powered, zero OPEX GSM system developed specifically for remote rural areas where there is little or no electricity and ARPUs are less than $2-3 a month.

VNL’s zero opex network solution was used to provide mobile services to around 30 villages in Alwar District, Rajasthan, across an area of 200 square kilometers, not covered by BSNL’s existing network. It was tested by a team comprising officers of the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and USOF.

Rajiv Mehrotra, Chairman & CEO of VNL said, “As an Indian company involved in innovation and manufacturing of high tech telecom infrastructure solutions, we are proud to receive this Certificate from USO. VNL is on a mission to connect the unconnected using sustainable models and we are delighted with the results in Rajasthan. We are grateful to the Government of India, USOF and BSNL, for encouraging us to demonstrate the capabilities of our rural GSM and broadband solution”.

VNL’s pioneering work has been widely praised; In 2010, it was named as a Technology Pioneer by The World Economic Forum ( and the third most innovative company – and the most innovative telecoms company – in the world in the Wall Street Journal’s annual Technology Innovation Awards, 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. VNL also won the “best technology foresight” category at the World Communications Awards and came second in the “Green Network Hardware and Infrastructure” category at the CTIA Wireless E-Tech Awards.

VNL equipment is also deployed in networks in South Asia, Africa, Central and South America.

About VNL (
For years, operators and GSM equipment vendors have struggled with the same problem: Traditional telecom equipment is not designed for the unique challenges posed by remote rural areas. It costs too much, is too expensive to run, uses too much power and is too difficult to deploy (especially in areas with no electricity, poor roads and a lack of trained engineers).

VNL has spent the last six years re-engineering GSM to overcome these challenges. The result is WorldGSMTM – the world’s first truly environmentally sustainable voice and data network.


  • Zero Opex – made possible by major reductions in power consumption; allowing for the use of solar power as the single energy source. No diesel generators are required.
  • Low Capex – priced at less than traditional GSM base stations -so that it’s profitable even at very low population densities and ARPU levels.
  • Rural-Optimised and easy to transport – compact and rugged; can even be transported on bullock carts.
  • Self-Deploying and near-zero maintenance – a village base station can be installed in hours by unskilled persons
  • Solar Powered – needs only 50 – 150 W per base station compared to the 3000 W required for traditional GSM.

VNL is a member of the Shyam group of companies – India’s leading diversified telecommunications group (

For more information go to or contact:
VNL’s International PR Rep. Bridget Fishleigh Call : +44 7946 342 903
E mail: Skype: bridgetfishleigh
VNL’s India PR :Manoj Bhan Call : +91 99 999 66056
E Mail:

Developing Telecoms Interview with Rajiv Mehrotra 18 Mar, 2011

During Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, James Barton of Developing Telecoms met with Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL to discuss the potential of solar powered network infrastructure to connect the next billion mobile subscribers across the world.

Developing Telecoms recently had the opportunity to speak to VNL Chairman & CEO Rajiv Mehrotra about the firm’s activities in the field of rural connectivity.

A veteran of the telecom industry, Mr Mehrotra was instrumental in projects which brought first cable TV, then wireless telephones to hundreds of thousands of Indian villages. He later founded Shyam Telecom, the flagship of the Shyam Group. Various subsidiaries of the group have launched GSM, CDMA and VSAT services across India.

Mr Mehrotra founded VNL in 2004 as part of his vision to connect the billions of unconnected in rural areas. The company’s solar-powered WorldGSM system is designed for deployment in rural communities, and has enormous potential for emerging markets.

Read more on their web site: Developing Telecoms

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for Best Green Programme Product or Initiative 17 Feb, 2010

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for  Best Green Programme Product or Initiative

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL. Free for press use.

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Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for Best Green Programme Product or Initiative

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL with Global Mobile Award for  Best Green Programme Product or Initiative

Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL. Free for press use.

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(Photo, JPEG, 3.8 MB)

VNL press photos ↓
(VNL press photos, ZIP, 47.6 MB)

Rajiv Mehrotra Interviewed by TelecomTV from the Floor of ITU Telecom World 15 Oct, 2009

Executive Insight: Rajiv Mehrotra, VNL

Indian mobile infrastructure company VNL believes simplicity of installation and low power consumption are needed to provide cost-effective wireless coverage to developing nations.

Watch this interview at TelecomTV with Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL as he discusses VNL’s solar powered GSM for rural networks and their impact on the future of rural telephony on the floor of ITU Telecom World 2009.

To view the video on TelecomTV’s web site, click here: