“TDB supports one more start up with innovative idea to make small & cost-effective ‘flat antennas’ to extend internet connectivity from Gram to nearby villages”
Digital connectivity is a key factor for overall growth across discrete sectors. The fast-paced life seems to be on hold in the absence of digital connectivity. The way India is emerging globally as a digital economy, it becomes necessary to have seamless internet connectivity across all geographical areas. It does not only help in e-governance, transparency, ease of doing business but also leads to socio-economic development of citizens especially in rural areas.
Keeping the principle of ‘Antyodaya’ as its core guiding force, and the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister. The Govt. of India aims to provide internet connectivity to the last person in the society. Hence, the major focus is on rural sectors for ensuring end to end digital connectivity. To achieve this, govt. is leaving no stone unturned, as Department of Telecommunication, Government of India through ‘USOF’ is already implementing world’s largest rural connecting program ‘BharatNet’ to connect 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats with optical fibre, through its SPV ‘BBNL’.
To further enable this, Technology Development Board, a statutory body of Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India supports M/s Astrome Technologies Private Limited, Bengaluru for Productization and Commercialization of ‘GigaMesh Solution for delivery of 4G/5G Telecom and Internet services for Defence and Rural Sectors’. The board has been instrumental in development of a conducive start up ecosystem by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in India. Now, to solve Internet Woes of Rural India, TDB has agreed to provide financial assistance of ₹2.97 crores, out of the total project cost of ₹19.79 crores to M/s Astrome Technologies.
The idea behind development of GigaMesh is that, fibre-like capacity is needed at every telecom site but deploying the same at each site is not feasible, due to cost and access related constraints. As 5G deployment happens, the number of cell sites will increase and each cell site will require multi-Gbps throughputs. Therefore, telecom deployment in suburban and rural areas will require wireless products that can deliver both capacity and range. To cater this, Astrome has come up with GigaMesh i.e. ‘First E-band radio that features Multiple-Point-to-Point (Multi-P2P) communication offering lower CapEx cost & OpEx cost.
In addition, the device can provide up to 40 links with 2+ Gbps capacity each, communicating up to a range of 10 kilometers. This flexibility in range makes it suitable for both decongesting the dense urban networks as well as extending rural coverage, the device is also capable of making the existing infrastructure 5G ready. This revolutionary approach to high-speed multiple point-to-point (Multi-P2P) communication yields up to 6 times reduction in capital expenditure (CapEx) per link as compared to the state-of-the-art point-to-point (P2P) wireless solutions.
Sh. Rajesh Kumar Pathak, IP&TAFS, Secretary, TDB, said that “As 5G deployment is just about to start in India, after 5G spectrum auction, coupled with the fact that TSPs/MNOs are facing fund crunch to meet its CapEx & OpEx requirement. Hence, the low-cost network solution is ‘need of the hour’. The ‘GigaMesh’ technology will go a long way to achieve the objectives of cost-effective network solutions for country like India, especially for rural area. We at TDB, are rightly poised to handhold such Technology startups, who aims to make unique contributions to ‘AatmaNirbharta’.”