This Stamp Sized Chip Developed By a Bengaluru Company can Change Rural India Forever!
Saankhya Labs, an electronics and chipset manufacturer based in Bengaluru has developed a small postage stamp sized chip called ‘Pruthvi’; which has the potential to change rural India forever.
Using White Space, this small chip can transmit low cost, high speed Internet to rural areas across India. Not only PM Modi’s ‘Digital India’ vision would be accomplished, but it will also implement ‘Make In India’ vision, as this chip is being manufactured locally, and use bare minimum requirements to transmit Internet across the rural areas.
If successfully implemented, ‘Pruthvi’ can beat companies like Facebook and Google, who are also aiming to provide wide-spread Internet access to rural areas (albeit with ‘terms and conditions’)
How Does It Work?
White Space is commonly referred to the unused spectrum, which lies between two TV channels. In India, Prasar Bharti is the only entity which uses White Space for beaming their channels.
Using Pruthvi chip, Saankhya Labs have created a system called Meghdoot, which can wirelessly transmit Internet across thousands of rural households. The only requirement to receive such Internet using Meghdoot’s platform is having a TV set, an antennae and a modem, which needs to be installed on the users’ side.
Using White Space spectrum between 400 and 800 MHz, Meghdoot can seamlessly transmit wireless Internet across deep rural areas. The base station can transmit Internet upto 10-15 kms radius, depending on the receptive power of the antennae.
Possibilities Are Endless
The best part is that, Meghdoot doesn’t require line of sight to receive signals, which means that the radius can increase with more powerful base station and antennae.
Testing is currently on in association with IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai and IIT Hyderabad; and even Microsoft is willing to help them as they are conducting trials at Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. Reports emerged last year that Microsoft is also aiming to provide free Internet to millions of rural Indians using this same White Space technology.
Parag Naik, who is the CEO and co-founder of Saankhya Labs said, “World over regulatory authorities are using or planning to use this spectrum for their respective connectivity programmes. India can take the lead in both technology and the markets for TV White Space-based broadband delivery.”
Compared to discriminatory scheme of Internet.org (now renamed to Basic Internet) by Facebook, ‘Pruthvi’ & Meghdoot based platform sounds like an excellent plan for empowering rural Indians with high speed Internet.
On one hand Internet.org is trying to control Internet in exchange for free, India based Saankhya Labs is trying to use existing resources of India and using Make in India to deliver Digital India.
Government should take one step forward, and provide all possible help and assistance to make this a grand success.