Ericsson Launches Wind-Powered Base Stations for Indian Rural Market
In India, equipment giant Ericsson has officially launched its wind-powered Ericsson Tower Tube radio base station (RBS) site solution, with low environmental impact and low cost of construction and maintenance.
Significance - Ericsson Tower Tube solution has been launched in India.
Implications - The solution is aimed at helping Indian operators to expand into the country's massive rural markets where electricity supply is unreliable in many areas.
Outlook - The deployment of green-energy solutions is on the rise across the global markets, as operators seek to achieve cost-savings and marketing gains.
The Ericsson Tower Tube radio base station houses all equipment within a self-contained site of about 5-metre diameter at the base. The towers do not require feeders and cooling systems, resulting in up to 40% lower consumption of power, which is the biggest operating cost. The solution also makes site acquisitions easier as compared to conventional sites as it requires less area for set up. This will reduce operating expenditures for operators and also bring down the total cost of construction, which ranges between 1.7 million rupees (US$33,484) to 3.5 million rupees per tower, depending on whether a tower is roof-based or ground-based. "This energy-optimised radio base station concept reflects our ability to understand and respond to customer requirements by reducing the total cost of ownership in order to expedite the roll out of mobile communications in India," Ericsson India and Sri Lanka VP (Marketing) P Balaji said in a statement in Mumbai.
Outlook and Implications
Solution to Help Rural Network Expansion: India is adding over 10 million wireless subscribers every month and operators have aggressive targets for setting up towers. The new solution will particularly help in bringing mobile services into the country's massive rural areas, which exhibit the greatest growth potential. At the end of September 2008, mobile penetration in the rural areas, which constitute about 70% of the total population, stood at 11%, while the mobile penetration rate in the urban areas was close to 65%. Although during last year the industry has witnessed a growing trend of more and more operators focusing on the semi urban and rural markets, service expansion still remains a challenge in many rural and remote areas.
TRAI has identified several key hurdles for service expansion in the rural areas, including a lengthy land acquisition process for setting up base stations; unavailability of a reliable power supply; high network maintenance costs; and the low purchasing power of individuals in rural areas. The wind-powered Ericsson Tower Tube solution will help address some of these inhibitors.
Deployment of Energy-Efficient Solutions Globally: Across the globe, operators in both developed and developing markets are increasingly demanding low-cost, energy efficient network solutions to cut costs, and achieve marketing gains from promoting their green credentials. In response, equipment vendors have been tapping into green energy sources and energy-efficient system designs, particularly for use in developing countries and more remote regions that may lack power infrastructure. Telekom Austria in February this year launched its first wind-powered mobile base station, with plans in place to convert up to 10% of its network infrastructure to wind turbine-powered units.