VNL re-engineers GSM to help operators provide affordable mobile telephony to new customers in rural markets

July 23, 2008

2 Min Read

STOCKHOLM -- Telecom equipment vendor, VNL, has finally cracked the problem facing mobile operators in the developing world: how to provide affordable mobile services to rural people - and still turn a profit.

Launched today, VNL - and its solar-powered GSM system - will change the telecoms market in rural areas across the world. For years, operators and GSM equipment vendors have struggled with the same problem, namely that traditional GSM was not designed for the unique challenges posed by vast 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 no skilled engineers).

VNL has re-engineered GSM technology to reduce its power requirement and make it suitable for a rural environment where electricity is scarce or unavailable.

The result is VNL's WorldGSM(TM) system, which includes base stations that only need between 50W and 120W of power to operate (compared to 3000 W for a typical GSM base station). A WorldGSM base station is entirely powered by solar energy with a 72 hour battery back-up in place (also charged by solar power).

The system also includes a rural-optimised MSC (Mobile Switching Centre), and a compact BSC (Base Station Controller) - making WorldGSM a complete, end-to-end GSM network.

Thanks to solar power, WorldGSM both drastically reduces the operating expenses for mobile operators - and contributes to a much lower environmental impact. VNL has estimated that mobile networks in India alone require 2 billion litres of diesel every year to power back-up diesel generators.

India-based Luke Thomas, from the research and consulting company Frost & Sullivan, says: "India is the fastest growing telecoms market in the world but some urban areas have already reached saturation point. VNL has opened up a whole new area of subscriber and revenue growth for operators by building a commercial - and profitable - GSM system to service remote low-density rural areas."

Vihaan Networks Ltd. (VNL)

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