Moto braves the elements

Motorola has paired with pan-African operator MTC to launch the world’s first wind and solar powered GSM cell site trial in Namibia in a bid to shore up coverage in the region according to the US company.

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By  Ronan Shields Published  May 17, 2007

Motorola has paired with pan-African operator MTC to launch the world’s first wind and solar powered GSM cell site trial in Namibia in a bid to shore up coverage in the region according to the US company. Located in Dordabis in the Khomas region of Namibia, the test site is an integral part of MTN’s bid to extend voice and data coverage to rural areas of Namibia. “With the implementation of cell sites into more remote areas, the Motorola solution provides us with an efficient and reliable alternative to the often costly rollout of mains grid electricity,” said Albertus Aochamub, corporate services general manager, MTC Namibia. MTC Namibia aims to provide voice and GPRS/EDGE data services with its expanded rural and roadside network coverage to enable new communities to access communication and the internet at a level not possible before. The two companies claim the cell site requires minimal maintenance at low cost while increasing the potential subscriber base. MTN claims this is crucial to sustaining a network in emerging markets where ARPUs are low. “This is an important project for us and commencement of the wind and solar cell site trial is proof of our commitment to our customers to provide the essential communication services needed in the region,” added Aochamub. Motorola claims the trial is part of its bid to bypass energy shortages in areas lacking a main grid connection without resorting to utilise costly fuel-powered generators. “This particular trial is being delivered on a GSM network, the Motorola solution also has the capability to be applied to other wireless networks,” said Ali Amer, vice president, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility.

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