By Segun Adekoye
IHS Africa, a major telecommunications infrastructure provider with headquarters in Nigeria and offices in sub-Saharan Africa has expressed its plan to reduce diesel consumption by 40 to 50 per cent within the next two years.
This was stated during its successful opening the largest solar-powered cell site in Africa which is dedicated to the telecommunications industry. Read our news story on the cell site here.
William Saad, the group chief technology officer explained that African countries provide reliable levels of intense sunlight and that operators everywhere have similar needs to reduce OPEX, improve uptime and be socially and environmentally sustainable.
Mr. Saad disclosed that IHS is one of the first tower infrastructure companies to deploy solar in Africa. He stated that they had developed a broad range of techniques in reduction and site optimization.
He added that IHS is committed to reducing carbon emissions and would continue to invest on research and development, aided by a grant from the U.S Travel and Development Agency.
He explained that rural communities offer a new potential source of revenue for mobile operators, as they continue to expand the roll out of mobile data services. Due to the difficulty in accessing sites in rural areas and the connection to an electricity grid, a stand-alone power system is often required. As the importance of wireless technologies grows, more towers will be needed, placing greater demand on solar power.
IHS currently has 4000 towers under management, owns 900 towers for collocation with each tower having guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime for electricity.