IMC 2017: VNL signs MoU with BSNL

NEW DELHI:Today at India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2017, domestic telecom equipment maker Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL) said that it has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) to provide solutions for disaster management.

Under the MoU, the Relief 123 Service will restore connectivity at disaster sites, help locate the affected and integrate information across platforms to enable informed decision-making for quick relief.

The MoU was signed between the two companies in the presence of Secretary, Department of Telecommunications Aruna Sundararajan at the India Mobile Congress 2017, being held at Pragati Maidan from 27th – 29th September.

The “Relief 123” service is an integrated Disaster Response solution for first responders and public safety agencies. The solution is designed and manufactured by VNL and the backhaul connectivity will be provided by BSNL. The service has been designed to work in different scenarios including natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms, floods and tsunamis.

The move to deploy comprehensive communication solutions will also bring BSNL and disaster management agencies – National Disaster Management Authority and National Disaster Relief Force on one platform for better coordination that will go a long way in saving lives during natural calamities.

This model can be scaled for SAARC countries, wherein BSNL would have roaming agreements with local Mobile Service Operators, and have type approvals executed in advance with local regulator. This will enable affected community to use their local numbers, and prevent any problems at the customs.

Speaking on the occasion, Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman & Managing Director, BSNL Ltd said, “Our latest initiative is dedicated to the service of the nation. Given that our country is prone to natural disasters, the availability and quick deployment of comprehensive communications solutions will help disaster management agencies mount faster and more reliable search and rescue operations. We are happy to partner with a domestic player like VNL in this noble endeavour, which has developed these innovative solutions in the area of disaster management, indigenously. By harnessing our telecom backbone that connects even the remote corners of the country, we aim to improve government’s response during emergencies by ensuring uninterrupted services to save human lives from natural calamities. In times to come we wish to extend this service to countries too, starting with the SAARC region.”

VNL Founder Chairman Rajiv Mehrotra thanked BSNL for giving the company an opportunity to partner in a project of paramount importance and said, “We are very proud to partner with BSNL for the rollout of this Disaster Relief Service. Considering the recent spate of natural disasters that have hit the world, this service has never been more relevant. We are committed to assisting first responders and public safety agencies in restoring connectivity when natural catastrophes strike. We thank BSNL CMD  Anupam Shrivastava for entrusting us with an important responsibility once again”.

This project is a successful continuation of ground breaking partnerships between VNL and BSNL. Both companies have partnered in the past for the roll out of voice and data connectivity in the worst-affected Left-Wing Extremism affected areas of India. To date, this remains the biggest green connectivity initiative undertaken anywhere in the world.

Recently, VNL had also emerged as the lowest bidder for the North East Mobile Connectivity Project, bagging 70% share of the Rs 1648 crore telecom infrastructure project rolled out by BSNL for providing connectivity in over 4000 villages in remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

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