Africa - Innovative energy solutions for mobile networks

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Last updated: 22 Dec 2010 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 7

Analyst: Peter Lange

Synopsis

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.

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