Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Green Energy Push for Mobile Networks

A new Green Power for Mobile Programme has been launched with the goal of helping the mobile industry use renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, or sustainable biofuels, to power 118,000 new and existing off-grid base stations in developing countries by 2012. The initiative is backed by The GSM Association along with 25 mobile operators, including Telecom Holding, Roshan, Safaricom, Smart, Telefonica, Telenor Pakistan, Vimpelcom, Vodacom Tanzania, Vodafone Egypt, Zain Group, and Zantel.


Specifically, the Green Power for Mobile programme will provide expertise to support the deployment of base stations that use renewable energy. Up to now, off-grid base stations have primarily been powered by generators running on diesel fuel, which is increasingly expensive, generates carbon dioxide emissions, and can be difficult to transport to remote locations.


The GSMA forecasts that by 2012 up to 50% of new off-grid base stations in the developing world could be powered by renewable energy. Currently, GSMA estimates that only 1,500 base stations worldwide are powered by at least one form of renewable energy. Challenges to date have included commercial viability, equipment availability and lack of expertise, but the GSMA's research suggests that rising diesel prices and falling renewable equipment costs mean that operators investing in green power sources for base stations could recoup the capital costs in as little as 24 months.


In addition, the GSMA is developing metrics for "green" base stations, to support operators in their decision-making on providers and products.http://www.gsmworld.com/greenpower

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