Monday, February 16, 2009

Alcatel-Lucent Launches Alternative Energy Program for Wireless Base Stations

Alcatel-Lucent has launched a program to enable the high-volume deployment of wireless base stations powered by alternative energy sources to address mobile operators' increasing demand for energy-autonomous and green wireless networking equipment. The goal is to help service providers deploy wireless networks in areas not served by electrical power. The company estimates that more than one billion people live in areas that are not served by an electrical grid and therefore do not have access to phone or broadband services.

As part of the program the company is establishing a lab and pilot site at Alcatel-Lucent's Villarceaux facility near Paris to foster an ecosystem of internal experts, partner companies and institutions to bring together the alternative energies and telecoms worlds. The lab and pilot site near Paris will enable Alcatel-Lucent to analyze, evaluate, test and validate solutions being offered in the dynamic and fragmented alternative energies market and how they might be incorporated into the telecommunications industry. A key component of the Alcatel-Lucent approach is the smart integration between the base station and the alternative energy source, and part of this integration is supported by the energy controller equipment. Alcatel-Lucent will be testing the power controller from Power Oasis, an UK-based provider of power solutions.

"The way the industry deploys alternative energy powered base stations today is costly and time consuming because it is based on a site-by-site approach with multiple vendors involved - so it is a slow and laborious process and for the most part has only been done in sunny equatorial areas," said Mike Iandolo, Alcatel-Lucent's President of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Product Division. "Our Alternative Energy Program will bring to market the very first integrated, pre-tested, mass-produced, alternatively powered wireless base stations, which can be deployed on a global scale with delivery lead times comparable to that for standard base stations."

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it has installed more than 300 solar-powered radio sites so far. Looking forward, the program will not be limited to wireless base station but will expand the use of alternative energy sources to fixed access equipment such as DSLAMs, IP routers and more.


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