Africa - Innovative energy solutions for mobile networks


Africa’s power grids are as notorious as its traditional fixed-line telephone networks for poor performance and reliability and a complete failure to satisfy demand on a national level. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa there are not enough power plants in the first place, the distribution networks are poorly maintained and do not reach many of the vast rural areas where the next wave of mobile phone subscriber growth is now taking place. Telecom operators on the continent are spending millions of dollars every month on diesel generators and fuel to power their networks. This has led to experiments with renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and locally produced biofuel, and MTN is now building its own power plant – with some welcome side effects: Free air conditioning, and carbon credits that can be sold.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Africa’s power crisis
    • 2.1 Soaring costs due to poor infrastructure
  • 3. Green solutions
  • 4. Smart Grids
  • 5. Background information
    • 5.1 MTN in South Africa
      • 5.1.1 National backbone network
    • 5.2 MTN in Nigeria
      • 5.2.1 National backbone network
      • Table 1 – MTN South Africa subscribers and market share – 2002 - 2010
      • Table 2 – MTN South Africa key statistics – six months ended June 2010
      • Table 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Nigeria – 1998 - 2010
      • Table 4 – MTN Nigeria ARPU – 2002 - 2010

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