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Sanchar Kiran – An Initiative Towards Use of Solar Energy for Rural Telephone Connectivity

Papers Png
Dr Archana Gulati
Published Oct 01, 2007

Kurukshetra, Vol. 55, No.12, October 2007

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Abstract

Though there has been phenomenal progress in the telecom sector in India, rural connectivity still lags at 2% compared to overall teledensity of 18.7% and urban teledensity of 40%. As the government sets out to use USO funded agreements with telecom operators to bridge the digital divide, another infrastructural constraint by way of prolonged power shortages and erratic electricity supply in rural areas becomes a stumbling block to effective rural telecom connectivity. Given this backdrop, the author describes her own experience regarding efforts to address the issue of providing sustained energy supply to power individual subscriber terminal equipment (CDMA phone sets) by way of development of customized solar charger battery sets. Telecom operators too are addressing the issue of erratic rural power supply at a macro level with their individual initiatives to use solar /bio fuel as energy sources for their mobile telephone exchanges. They are pressing for subsidy to fund these initiatives and the government responding positively is seriously considering the modalities of providing the same.

Technological developments in the field of SPVs are rapidly reducing the cost of this hitherto expensive energy source. As a green energy resource which our country abounds in, solar power represents a huge underutilized reserve of energy and potential wealth just waiting to be tapped.