MTC Namibia and Motorola team up to go ‘green’

Motorola, MTC Namibia and the GSM Association have signed a deal to conduct a trial project in Namibia. The project will involve the use of wind and solar power for MTC Namibia’s remote GSM cell sites.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  February 13, 2007

Motorola, MTC Namibia and the GSM Association have signed an agreement to conduct a trial project in Namibia. The project will involve the use of wind and solar power systems for MTC Namibia’s remote GSM cell sites. The trial involves the installation of Motorola’s wind and solar solution at an operational MTC Namibia cell site. The wind and solar solution will power the site, which will remain a part of MTC Namibia’s wireless network and carry normal traffic levels. José Ferreira, managing director at MTC Namibia, said: “We are confident that this trial will support our market growth strategy and enable us to extend our network coverage into the more rural parts of Namibia — where electricity is not always a viable option — quickly, efficiently and with a reliable solution. Motorola’s innovation and design expertise will enable wind and solar solutions to be deployed in an optimal format for wireless cellular networks.” Dawn Hartley, development fund manager at the GSMA, added: “Off-grid connectivity is a key challenge for operators, in particular in developing world markets, and until cost-effective, practical solutions are commonplace, the digital divide will persist. The GSMA is therefore committed to piloting alternative energies for powering base stations, and we are delighted to be involved in this trial in Namibia.” The project represents the first customer-based trial in the world and is expected to run from April 2007 until July 2007. According to Motorola, the ‘green’ solution requires minimal site maintenance, unlike alternative options such as sites powered by diesel generators, which generally requires, at a minimum, a monthly refuelling visit. Motorola claims that its ‘green’ solution translates into added savings in operating expenditure (OPEX). Stefano Mattiello, regional sales director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Motorola networks and enterprise, added: “Motorola’s heritage in innovative communication networks is being applied in optimising this type of solution for rural areas and it’s very exciting that we have the first trial anywhere in the world here in Africa.” “The solution will successfully combine with other power optimisation features for GSM cell sites that are currently in development and although the trial is being done on a GSM network the technology can be applied to any wireless network in an off-grid scenario,” Mattiello concluded.

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