Since the early 2000s, Pakistan’s cellular industry has witnessed a tremendous growth. The critical importance of this industry can be judged by the fact that Pakistan has a tele density of over 70%. i.e over a 100 million users. For most of us, cell phone is our life and as we have witnessed when this service is disconnected, it makes life miserable. With energy crisis affecting us directly from all angles, I wonder how many realize that when they are desperately trying to call their loved one or trying to send the sms that is not going through, its the absence or the irregular voltage from the cellular networks that is making their life difficult. Yes, energy crisis has intangible ways to affect us. The long power outages of 16-20 hours esp. in the remote areas has taken its toll on the cellular infrastructure. It has affected the power of the base stations which require stable and regular voltage to deliver the traffic.
It is therefore a great pleasure to know that Telenor Pakistan, is focusing on resolving the crisis in an efficient and green way. Telenor Pakistan already has 48 BTS sites running on Solar-Genset hybrid solutions. The use of renewable sources to run the networks is not a new idea. Our Indian counterparts are giving the diesel “a run for its money” by replacing it with solar energy to run the cellular networks. At a recently held conference in Islamabad,the need for developing a sustainable telecommunication infrastructure was discussed at length between the government and the main mobile operators. With the immense potential that the industry holds for Pakistan’s economy , it is important the government accords the cellular industry the status of critical national infrastructure and works with all the collaborators to provide energy efficient and cost effective solutions.
While clean power cannot be discounted, mobile operators world wide are placing more emphasis on curbing power consumption and thus reducing the carbon footprint. The Economist has an excellent article, How green is your network?, that details how the telecoms have been saving energy on their networks. Green touch, a consortium have made a study about massive efficiency gains hidden in cellphone networks. They have done an excellent study about improving the energy efficiency in the cellular industry and have proved that industry collaboration can drive innovation in this field, something that I have talked about before. No doubt that green telecoms can dial into profits.