The demand for green technologies and energy efficiency in everyday life is making its way to the mobile service provider space. For those serving customers in developing countries, efficient energy management, network carbon footprint and cost control are all critical elements. Without a strategic energy plan in place, OpEx costs can dramatically increase as service deteriorates. This clear path to failure can be avoided with the right approach.
The recent Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) white paper, “Green Transformation for Mobile Service Providers,” outlines the need for a comprehensive global approach to energy management that can easily assess current usage while incorporating the groundbreaking opportunities made possible through new alternative energy sources. There is a skyrocketing demand for mobile network services.
Within a few short years, service providers will be delivering a diverse range of applications to more than 5 billion devices in use throughout the world. Even as this opportunity is an exciting one for service providers, it also presents a brand new challenge – energy costs are rising and the demand for efficient energy management is growing.
In developing countries, unstable or non-existent electrical grids heighten the demand for the deployment of alternative energy solutions. Mobile service providers must now deploy alternative energy solutions, yet many have taken a shortsighted approach, only managing energy at their mobile base stations and ignoring the operations and costs of the overall network architecture.
Mobile service providers should instead focus on off-grid sites or manage the energy piece of the network as a separate stream to create the long-term, energy efficient infrastructure necessary to build the foundation for a future-oriented green transformation plan. To grasp the potential in the market, the global mobile network must follow best practices that define an energy vision, integrate the energy plan with the telecom vision and deploy a global transformation plan that addresses the long-term.
The following list offers insight on what to do and what not to do to leverage cost control and drive green energy throughout the mobile service provider architecture. Let’s take a look to do and not to do.
- Attack only stand-alone projects with a site-topologies approach just because it offers a positive business case. Only focus on sites that are off-grid
- Manage the energy piece as a stream separate from other operational and network activities
- Define the vision for energy
- Integrate this vision with the telecom vision, applying it to traffic growth, network extension, upgrades in technologies, etc.
- Define energy KPIs
- Build a global business case
- Explore the variety of innovative business models available
- Define a long-term transformation plan with the necessary implementation to support the global approach.
The need for comprehensive mobile communications continues to grow, while energy efficiency will also remain an important focus point. With the right strategic plan in place, mobile service providers can leverage green energy initiatives that still enable strong growth and healthy profits.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Peter Bernstein