Because so many telecom companies have committed to carbon reduction plans, their planned growth in coming years will mean an increasing reliance on “green” network equipment.
With much of the growth coming in underdeveloped nations with poor infrastructure, the telecom industry will be forced to create more communication bandwidth with less resources, according to Pike Research report, “Green Telecom Networks.”
That means a continuing shift to more efficient base and switching centers and handsets that consume less electricity.
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 percent.
For the land line telephone business, which is contracting, Pike Research expects a reduction of 14 percent in emissions by 2013, as a result of technology improvements and declining customer base.
Many cell phone companies are introducing energy saving handsets and other eco-options.
Sony-Ericsson recently launched its GreenHeart mobile phones.
Sharp is selling a solar cell phone.
Sprint, meanwhile, offers an add-on solar charger.