Consider the last mobile mile conquered, judging from the technology developed by the Indian startup VNL. Its solar-powered global-satellite-mobile (GSM) system is cheap (about $15,000, one-quarter the cost of traditional base stations), green (it requires only as much energy as a 50-watt lightbulb and produces zero emissions), and efficient (in six hours, the equipment can be assembled onto a home rooftop, no tech expertise required, and provide service to 2,000 users within a 2-mile radius). VNL has successfully deployed pilot projects in rural Indian villages, and last December, the World Economic Forum named it a Technology Pioneer for 2010. Next up: Africa, where two telecom companies will begin rolling out VNL’s system this year.
The Most Innovative Companies
The top 50 companies in entertainment, media, sports, technology, and more.
Most Creative People
Meet this year's inspiring leaders.
Innovation By Design
A showcase for ingenious design solutions.
Future of Philanthropy
Inside The Changing World Of Giving
World Changing Ideas
New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine—even an entirely new economic system.
The apps, tips, tactics, and brain hacks to help you work smarter instead of harder.
An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company’s distinctive lens.