Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ericsson and Zain Power Kenyan Village with Wind and Sun

Ericsson and pan-African operator Zain have built a green-powered site in a remote village in northeastern Kenya.

A combination of wind and solar power are used to power the telecommunication infrastructure. The more than 3000 phone minutes logged daily have also created a market for items such as SIM cards, second-hand phones, scratch cards, charging and accessories, while local business people can slash transport costs through mobile ordering and invoicing.

Jan Embro, President of Ericsson in sub-Saharan Africa, says: "The ideal climate conditions mean we expect to see an 80 percent reduction in energy-related operational costs for the site, compared with using diesel generators. Green sites like this one have great potential for solving the power-grid challenge across Africa to bring mobile communication to the poorest of the poor so they can improve their lives and break the poverty cycle."

Chris Gabriel, CEO of Zain Africa, added: "With reliable and affordable mobile voice and data communication, Dertu's nomadic pastoral community of more than 5000 people has the chance to build on the economic and social gains it has made since Ericsson and Zain, partnering with the Earth Institute, first brought mobile communication to the region through a temporary network installed last year."