Local telecom gear makers eye solar-based solutions for 4G push in extremist-hit areas

NEW DELHI: The government’s decision to upgrade 2G mobile sites in naxal-hit areas to the faster and more efficient 4G will provide impetus to domestic companies to deploy indigenous technologies and solutions to take the network deeper into the interiors of the country, local maker Vihaan Networks has said.
The company, which has carried out independent telecom projects as well as worked with state-owned telcos, said that the upgradation of technology in left-wing extremism (LWE) belts is an opportunity for domestic makers who plan to deploy green and sustainable solutions.
Rajiv Mehrotra, Chairman of Vihaan Networks, said that the company plans to offer a solar-based solution – that eliminates the dependence on diesel for powering the telecom towers – for the 4G upgrade. “… our company can provide the solution of 4G which is designed, developed, and manufactured in India… and can be rolled out within 9 months.”
The LWE Phase I project had been completed by BSNL by partnering domestic vendors and became one of the largest global networks running solely on solar power systems, giving 98% uptime. “Keeping in mind the paucity of the resources and accessibility issues, the towers were activated through the deployment of solar technology and the size of the project became the biggest in the world,” Mehrotra said.
Announcing the Cabinet approval for the LWE project, Union Minister Anurag Thakur had said that the work in the naxal-hit areas will entail a cost of Rs 2,426 crore. The project will be spread across naxal-affected areas in ten states and the task has been assigned to BSNL.
“We have 4G here but left-wing extremism areas have 2G connectivity. To provide 4G in place of 2G facility, the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Rs 2,426 crore for upgradation of 2,542 mobile towers from 2G to 4G,” Thakur said after the cabinet meeting.
He said that indigenously-developed core network, radio network and telecom equipment will be used to upgrade the mobile towers to 4G.
The project will be rolled out across different locations in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.
Vihaan’s Mehrotra said the technological upgradation will enable better internet and data services in the LWE areas. “It meets the requirements of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state governments. It shall also fulfil the communication needs of the security personnel deployed in the areas. The proposal is in line with providing mobile connectivity in rural areas, and will also help in delivery of various e-governance services, banking services, tele-medicine and tele-education, through mobile broadband.”

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