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.
In the past year, oil prices have risen more than 100% and are currently at $140.73. According to most of the energy experts the situation is only going to get worse.
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Our earlier findings have indicated that power and fuel constitute the biggest chunk of operating costs for mobile operators – The power and fuel challenge.
Soaring energy prices and falling ARPU put mobile network operators in a difficult position. It’s definitely the right time for mobile network operators to start looking at renewable energy sources as an option to run their networks and reduce their operating expenditure.
Lumeta has developed solar roofing that can be installed in just half an hour. It’s a clever idea: photovoltaic tiles that integrate into an existing roof.
Lumeta’s larger photovoltaic module – the PowerPly 380 – is intended for commercial applications. Triplepundit has an interesting video of a PowerPly installation (it’s fast): “Peel & stick solar fulfills the need … for speed!”
Installing regular photovoltaic panels can difficult in two ways: it’s a cumbersome process, and large solar panels tend to stand out from the overall house architecture (a photovoltaic eyesore, if you will). So the idea of integrating a solar panel installation with existing roofing makes serious sense.
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