By Pamela Perez, CommsDay International
Green network equipment will take on 46% of the US$277 billion global telecom infrastructure market by 2013, according to a new report from Pike Research.
“Energy consumption is one of the leading drivers of operating expenses for both fixed and mobile telecom network operators. Reliable access to electricity is limited in many developing countries that are currently the high-growth markets for telecommunications. At the same time, many operators have adopted corporate social responsibility initiatives with a goal of reducing their networks’ carbon footprints, and network infrastructure vendors are striving to gain competitive advantage by reducing the power requirements of their equipment,” said the report.
These factors will continue to converge over the next several years, prompting significant growth of green network equipment, it said.
For mobile phone companies, base stations and switching centers comprise 70-80 percent of total network energy usage. Possible solutions for reducing energy use include improved radio frequency amplifiers, new network architectures, fresh air cooling solutions and sustainable, off-grid energy for remote locations. Pike Research estimates a potential for decreasing emissions 41%.
For the land line telephone business, which is contracting, Pike Research expects a reduction of 14% in emissions by 2013, as a result of technology improvements and declining customer base.
“Improved energy efficiency is the first step in creating greener telecom networks,” said managing director Clint Wheelock. “Reduced power requirements will facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaics, wind energy, and fuel cells, while also opening the door for more efficient network architectures and topologies. This is especially true in remote areas where networks rely heavily on diesel generators for primary and backup power.”
The front runners for greener networks include telecom operators and equipment vendors China Mobile, Cisco, Huawei, Juniper Networks, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telstra, and Vodafone.
The article was first published in CommsDay International