GSMA in pact with Bharti Infratel to make Indian telecom infrastructure green

Telecom Lead Asia: The GSMA and Bharti Infratel, one of the world’s leading telecom tower infrastructure providers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and promote green technologies for telecom tower infrastructure in India.

Under the terms of this partnership GSMA and Bharti Infratel will work together to convert 1,000 Infratel towers into green sites, which will reduce greenhouse gas carbon emissions by almost 11,000 tonnes as a result of the reduced usage of diesel, according to a press release.

We are delighted to join hands with the GSMA and firmly believe that this partnership will present an exciting expansion to our expertise and leadership in deploying clean energy initiatives across our tower footprint,” said Sairam Prasad, chief technical officer, Bharti Infratel. “This vital partnership is a step further in our endeavor of fore-fronting green within the telecom tower infrastructure industry and will enhance the capacity of Infratel’s GreenTowers P7 initiative.”

Bharti Infratel owns over 33,000 of India’s estimated 400,000 towers. Having predominantly a rural footprint, they have nearly 9,000 off-grid towers, which accounts for 18 per cent of total off-grid towers in India.

Infratel has already converted over 10,500 sites to alternative back-up power, out of which almost 1,350 sites are now on solar hybrid; converting an additional 1,000 is the first step of engagement with the GSMA.

This partnership will have significant impact in reducing operating expenditure by 10-20 per cent at each individual site, as well as a significant reduction in carbon emissions,” said Chris Locke, managing director, GSMA Development Fund. “Using the insights gained from our partnership with Bharti Infratel, we will produce a best practice guide and case study which we hope will lead to widespread industry change as the industry follows Bharti Infratel’s lead.”

The GSMA’s Green Power for Mobile program, supported by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) works to promote and institutionalize green power in a number of markets including India. 

Recently GSMA also announced partnership with Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) to develop technical and commercial frameworks for Wi-Fi roaming. The initiative will simplify connectivity to Wi-Fi hotspots from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

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