"Change isn't made by asking permission. Change is made by asking forgiveness, later"
Come with me (Shareholder and board member of a technology startup and an executive at a mobile operator) and enjoy reading about Management, Technology and Startup issues
One of my objectives on taking over the network management at Bite is to manage to get our company as the most sustainable one in the Baltics and Scandinavia, both in terms of energy consumption, waste management and usage of alternative energy
Obviously all vendors are looking at these development across different MNOs and have understood that for these propositions to be successful there has to be a win / win, aka they have to have a positive impact on the operators results while helping the world one way or another
Extracting from Jupiter research study 'Green Mobile Networks & Base Stations: Strategies, Scenarios & Forecasts 2009-on this topic, "... the green mobile base stations report which utilised scenario-based models to derive estimates of base station power consumption, CO2 emissions and implied electricity costs, found that under the 'transformational model' – wherein operators invest substantially in power reduction in the base station, and place greater emphasis on addressing issues such as cooling, network planning and power management – total base station emissions would peak in 2010 and fall to 15.6Mt by 2014, achieving a 30% reduction”
A very simple view on 3 developments that help society in different ways is the following (off Grid population, bad access to grid population, good access)
- Off Grid population: today's there is millions and millions of people in the rural areas of Africa, India and Asia that are Off Grid. Obviously lack of access to electricity means lack of mobile access. If one thing is being proven in the last years is that mobile technology have had a positive impact on developing communities. Examples such as Telenor in Bangladesh or M-PESA in Kenia (Safaricom/Vodafone) are clear illustrations of that positive impact.
On these cases, the development of "mostly" solar powered units allowing BTS to be where there was not a chance before is the first example of combining renewal energies + benefits for the society + benefit for the operator
We have seen some of these units deployed successfully in South Africa (both MTN & Vodacom)
- Bad Grid population - The need to use generators and the usage of Diesel (gas) to power them has been typical in those cases where electricity may come and go. Most of these BTS need at least 2 generators. If we take a combination of alternative energies + 1 generator (instead of 2) there has been cases were savings are up to 20k liters of gas a year
Once again clear gain for the operator (less OPEX) + less pollution + more reliability
India is a prime target to deploy many of these units and Vodafone has done so already in different pilots
- Good Grid - Here is where most of developed countries based operators are. Combining renewable energies BTS (solar + wind turbines) as one option, green oriented software (that is capable of managing emissions, switching off BTS when traffic is null) as another or the deployment of new equipment with radio links (making unnecessary the need for cabinets, therefore no need for Air Con thus less pollution (and aka less OPEX) are just examples on how quickly the equipment vendors + MNOs are realizing on the opportunity for them to combine OPEX reduction while being more responsible with the communities they live in
Will you as a consumer wanted to be associated with a mobile operator talking steps in this direction? Once more there is proof that green oriented operations could be a win / win proposition for all