AI boosts rural connectivity & healthcare

New Delhi : A total of 15 villages in different parts of the country may soon be seamlessly connected through a next-generation networking solution that can address congestion issues in 4G infrastructure and provide high-tech and affordable internet connectivity,

The network solution called GigaMesh wirelessly provides fibre-like backhaul capacity and paves the road for 5G.

The solution has been developed by Astrome, a deep-tech startup expediting the implementation of 5G and rural telecommunications infrastructure through its patented millimetre wave E-band radios and satellite communication solutions. They have signed a contract with the Department of Telecommunication to start the pilot with 15 villages in India. Plans are afloat to scale the activity to more rural parts of India on the basis of the pilot.

The startup is supported by AI & Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK), the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which aims to chart the future for millimetre wave wireless communication on Earth and in space.

ARTPARK is a not-for-profit foundation promoted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, with support from the AI Foundry in a public-private collaborative model to promote technology innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) & Robotics with seed funding from the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) and from the Government of Karnataka. It is designed to bring about a collaborative consortium of partners from industry, academia, and government bodies.

GigaMesh, developed by Astrome, supported by ARTPARK, is world’s first multi-beam E-band Radio that is able to communicate from one tower to multiple towers simultaneously while delivering multi GBPS throughput to each of these towers. A single GigaMesh device can provide up to forty links with 2+ Gbps capacity, communicating up to a range of ten kilometres. This flexibility in range makes it suitable for both decongesting the dense urban networks and extending rural coverage. With India’s huge population in the rural segment, Astrome can help improve domestic internet connectivity.

Major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Ericsson, Siklu, Huawei and NEC have developed E-band products. While all of these products can only do point-to-point communication, requiring a large number of devices which increases the cost of deployment, Gigamesh by ARTPARK’s startup, features multiple point-to-point communication in E-Band, lowering cost and is driven by software to make it easy to deploy, maintain and repair remotely.

Besides this, AI researchers at ARTPARK, in collaboration with HealthTech startup Niramai Health Analytix and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), have also developed XraySetu, a platform that can interpret chest X-rays with 98.86 % sensitivity toward COVID-19 within few seconds.

ARTPARK also organised the ARTPARK Innovation Summit that brought industry, academia and the government under one roof to discuss important topics such as how to create next-generation connectivity in rural areas, health AI for Bharat, connecting Bharat with Drones, inclusive learning for the future and building AI and research ecosystem. Apart from this, they participated in an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) experiment of the Indian Army and showcased India’s only Legged Robotic Dog.

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