VNL

 

High Level Delegation from Brazil visits VNL solar powered sites 18 Apr, 2012


Village children with members of the Brazilian Delegation in front of a VNL WorldGSM™ Village Base station on the roof of a house.

The Fourth BRICS Summit was hosted in New Delhi on 29 March 2012 under the overarching theme of “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity.”

On the sidelines of the summit, VNL was privileged to host a high level Delegation from Santa Catarina (SC) State, Brazil, who visited VNL sites in villages in the district of Alwar, Rajasthan, a few hours away from Delhi.

The Chief of the Delegation was State Congressman and 1st Secretary State Govt. of Santa Catarina, Dr. Jaílson Lima da Silva accompanied by State Congresswoman
Ms. Dirce Heidersheidt, State Congressman Mr. Mauro Nadal, Mr. Ronério Heiderscheidt, Mayor of Palhoça City, SC state, Mr. Paulo Roberto Eccel, Mayor of Brusque, SC state,
Mr. Ailton Nazareno Soares, Rector of UNISUL (University of Santa Catarina), Ms. Katia Sarlet Rezende, from the Department of Institutional Relations of Santa Catarina, Mr. Jucinei Cardoso, Journalist ALESC TV and Radio and Dr. Jean Christian Weiss, Lawyer.


Members of the Delegation get to know the WorldGSM™ site in detail

The Delegation was keen to understand Indian innovation and visiting the VNL solar powered GSM and broadband sites in the villages gave them insight into how sustainable technologies could be used to meet the challenges of development.

VNL‘s award winning WorldGSM™ technology is ideally suited to establishing sustainable GSM & Broadband  networks for unconnected populations in small towns and remote locations. This is a catalyst in the socio-economic development of the community and adds to the GDP.

The Delegation was thrilled to see the technology at work in the villages and spent several hours interacting with village folk and schoolchildren,braving the heat and dust that is typical at this time of the year.


In the classroom with children: (L to R) Mr. Ravi Ailawadhi, Dr. Jailson Lima da Silva and Ms. Dirce Heidersheidt


Broadband for village schools : Dr. Jailson Lima da Silva (L) talks to a young student along with Mr. Ravi Ailawadhi (R) in front of a VNL Solar Powered Rural Internet Kiosk – “Gurukul”.


Members of the Delegation with staff and students and village folk at the village school. (L toR) Ms. Dirce Heidersheidt, Dr. Jean Christian Weis
and Mr. Ronério Heiderscheidt


Members of the Delegation with staff, students and more village folk at the village school. (Standing L to R) Dr. Jailson Lima da Silva, Mr. Ravi Ailawadhi,
Mr. Mauro Nada and Ms. Katia Sarlet Rezende (seated in center)


Mr. Ailton Nazareno Soares and Dr. Jailson Lima da Silva access the Internet on their laptop and handheld devices using broadband connectivity over Wi-Fi brought by VNL’s solar powered WorldGSM™ solution

In June 2011, VNL signed a “General Protocol of Intent of Partnership in Strategic and Future Projects” with A Fundacao Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina - (UNISUL), A Universidade Estadual de Goias-UEG,and A Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso (UNEMAT).

The Protocol aims to facilitate technical, scientific and technological cooperation through four Pilot Projects in the State of Santa Catarina ,Mato Grosso and Goias -specifically in the municipalities of Palhoca and Aguas Mornas.

These projects are :

  1. Environmental Education as Strategic for the development of scientific knowledge and skills
  2. Digital Inclusion by Distance Courses
  3. Technology in Fishing Community
  4. VNL Technology implementation for Strategic Family Health of Palhoca City

(more…)

Diesel to Power Telecom Towers - The Big Problem 5 Apr, 2012

Way back in 2004, VNL began its journey to develop WorldGSM™ – a completely solar powered GSM and broadband network solution for rural and remote locations. Top of the agenda: cut down power consumption and remove diesel from the equation – otherwise network viability and profitability would never be possible. In the past 7 years we’ve watched as green power has moved from the domain of CSR initiative to the centre of the OPEX debate.

Diesel Genset
A traditional Diesel powered GSM Site

How bad is the diesel problem? Let’s start with India: According to E&Y and FICCI * “Currently, telecom towers consume an average of about 5-6 kilo watt of energy coupled with an average of 8 hours of diesel generator running time due to power outages. On average, 27 million units of electricity are consumed per day. Average diesel consumption per site per hour is about 2.5 liters, translating to 6 million liters of diesel per day. This translates to consumption of more than 2 billion liters of diesel per year for cell sites, which is subsidized by GoI.”

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India estimates the diesel challenge as follows: “India has presently around 400,000 telecom towers, with average power consumption per tower being 3 to 4 kW. Assuming 8 hours of operation by DG sets, an average fuel consumption of 8760 liters of diesel every year per tower, total carbon emission on account of diesel use by telecom towers is estimated to be around 10mt of CO2, while the emissions on account of power drawn from the grid by towers is estimated to be around 6mt of CO2.”

Africa has a similar story to tell.

In a recent article in extensia on Telcos in Nigeria eying alternative power to run the network the figures are staggering: between MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat, there are 20,000 base stations that consume a total of 49.5 million liters of diesel to power the sites every month, at a total cost of N8.4 billion. All this, for Nigeria alone.

The rising costs of energy bills can actually force some CEO’s to comment that a way to address this is to hike call rates. See this interesting article from Balancing Act here.


This VNL WorldGSM™ Site in Africa saves $2000 per month

VNL is clear. The long term solution lies in reducing the power consumption to a level that a renewable solution is justifiable on all counts: Capex, Opex, and Payback. VNL has been at the forefront of the “diesel free network” revolution. In Africa VNL deployments of it’s WorldGSM™ solar powered voice and data network solution in rural locations have saved $2000 per site per month by removing diesel from the equation. Compared to a traditional site in a rural area a 222 configuration VNL Rural site can give up to $30,000 in savings each year– considering that outages run as high as 16 hours a day in many cases.

Going green is Green is good for business. WorldGSM™ is showing the way!!


References:

Wrap up of Enterprise India Show, Yangon Nov 10-13, 2011 21 Dec, 2011


Enterprise India, sponsored by the Indian Embassy and CII, started with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by His Excellency Dr. Y. S. Seshadri, India’s Ambassador to Myanmar, His Excellency Mr. Soe Thane (Ministry of Industry I &II), His Excellency, Win Myint (Ministry of Commerce), and His Excellency Myint Swe (Yangon Division Prime Minister) and Sanjay Kirloskar, Mission Leader and Chairman of CII ASEAN/ANZ Regional Committee.

Ravi Ailawadhi, CEO of Shyam Networks represented both VNL and Shyam at the show. He personally introduced the Ambassador and Ministers to VNL’s Village Site and explained how VNL can help transform the lives of Myanmar’s villagers living in rural areas, while at the same time enabling mobile operators to make a profit even at very low ARPUs. They were very interested in learning more about how VNL’s systems require no connections to the electrical grid, or any expensive diesel generators. They were very happy to learn that VNL is interested in finding local manufacturing partners to source components of VNL’s systems within Myanmar itself.

During the first day, Mr. Ailawadhi was also interviewed by SkyNet, one of Myanmar’s major TV channels where he discussed VNL’s offering for Myanmar and how access to telephony services and broadband can dramatically change a village for the better, opening up e-learning and e-health, expose locals to potential job opportunities, as well as providing a platform for local business to expand their market range. These types of added benefits is a vital end result of VNL’s GSM & broadband plan for Myanmar’s rural areas.

On the second day of the show, Mr. Ailawadhi introduced VNL’s solution to His Excellency, Thura Thiha Tin Aung Myint Oo, Vice President of the Union of the Republic of Myanmar. Minister of Ministries, His Excellency Myint Swe, accompanied the Vice President.

Later in the day, VNL had the pleasure of meeting with Aung Myint Htun, Joint Secretary General of the Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Jeanne-Elise M. Heydecker, AVP Marketing for VNL, explained the value proposition of VNL’s solution and detailed some of the benefits of bringing affordable telecommunications and internet to the villages of Myanmar. Mr. Htun videotaped the presentation in order to share the information with the Chambers’ members at their next meeting.

VNL Participates at Futurecom in Brazil, September 12-14, 2011 10 Sep, 2011

VNL announces its participation again at Futurecom in Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 12th – 14th, 2011.

VNL’s participation will focus on the addition of broadband services as part of their award-winning WorldGSM™ solution worldwide - the solar powered GSM network infrastructure equipment 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 workers – all resulting in zero OPEX, dramatically lower CAPEX, and near zero maintenance.

The next billion subscribers will be coming from rural populations, away from saturated urban markets. If you’re planning on visiting Futurecom 2011, 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 #C104 to learn more.


Also Visit VNL at:

* February 27 – March 1, 2012: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain – Booth #2B47

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

USO
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 (www.weforum.org) 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 (www.vnl.in)
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.

Highlights:

  • 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 (www.shyam.co.in)

For more information go to www.vnl.in or contact:
VNL’s International PR Rep. Bridget Fishleigh Call : +44 7946 342 903
E mail: bridget@nomadcomms.com Skype: bridgetfishleigh
VNL’s India PR :Manoj Bhan Call : +91 99 999 66056
E Mail: manoj.bhan@vnl.in

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

Wrap Up of Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Spain 21 Feb, 2011

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
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.
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
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder, Chairman & CEO of VNL, speaks with visitors to the booth.

For more information, visit www.vnl.in or contact VNL’s PR representative Bridget Fishleigh +44 7946 342 903, bridget@nomadcomms.com