The network was initially built to serve KGFS Rural Services, a micro-banking institution affiliated with IFMR Trust, and some educational institutions. The network traverses difficult topographies typical to the region – deep ravines surrounded by steep mountains, around which narrow roads meander to reach clusters of small villages and towns. Thus, although the network measures around 70kms from North to South, the travel distance between our field office and the furthest existing location in the Garhwal Mountains is around 160 km. and takes about seven hours of travel.
The Garhwal network has, and continues to be, one of the most challenging networks we have. Reaching remote locations often requires many hours of pre-planning and field scouting for locations for relays. Unreliable power supply led us to use solar power in most of network’s backbone relays. Wind storms are an additional challenge. These challenges forced us to innovate, hone our planning and deployment skills, and to further shape the technical and commercial aspects of our rural offerings.