Ericsson's (NASDAQ:ERIC) pioneering solar-powered site solution has been selected by Digicel Group, the largest mobile telecommunications operator in the Caribbean, to provide energy-lean network coverage in remote areas of Suriname. The solution offers the market's lowest energy consumption, helping reduce operating costs and environmental impact, and its deployment marks a first in South America.
The solution is based on Ericsson's main remote GSM base stationRBS 2111, which is one in a series of energy-optimized, innovative base stations from Ericsson. It has a smaller environmental footprint than a standard base station, consuming up to 50 percent less energy.
As part of the agreement, Ericsson will also supply MINI-LINK TN all-outdoor transmission, solar panels and battery back-up solutions. Ericsson will also be responsible for network deployment and systems integration.
Ericsson's solar radio-site solution allows autonomous sites to be deployed in remote areas that have limited access to the electricity grid. It helps reduce total cost of ownership by cutting energy-related operating and maintenance costs. It also improves the environmental performance of mobile networks.
Mario Assaad, Chief Technology Officer for Digicel Group, says: "Ericsson's energy-friendly solution will help lower operational expenditure and reduce environmental impact. By extending coverage in Suriname, we open the door to new revenue streams, giving subscribers access to services on the move, as well as providing communications to people in remote areas for the first time."
Sergio Quiroga da Cunha, President of Ericsson in northern Latin America, says: "This deal marks an important milestone and we are proud to implement the first solar solution in South America. Energy efficiency is a key factor for network optimization: it helps lower total cost of ownership and enables operators to bring affordable communications to subscribers."
This deployment follows a series of initiatives from Ericsson to optimize the energy efficiency of mobile networks by creating solutions that reduce environmental impact and lower operator costs. These initiatives include: GSM power-saving features; the Ericsson Tower Tube; biofuel-powered telecom sites; hybrid diesel/battery back-ups; and the Solar Village Charger, co-developed with Sony Ericsson. Ericsson delivered its first solar-powered sites in 2000 to Maroc Telecom, and has so far provided more than 200 sites in Africa and Southeast Asia.