Motorola today announced the successful completion of the wind and solar power system trial conducted with the GSM Association (GSMA) on MTC Namibia’s cell site at Dordabis village in the Khomas region of Namibia.
“The Dordabis trial project produced highly encouraging results," says Albertus Aochamub, GM: corporate affairs at MTC Namibia.
"To move forward with our growth strategy, MTC Namibia needed an efficient and reliable alternative to mains grid electricity solution. Based on the success of this trial, we are now in a position to place remote base stations, fuelled by renewable energy sources, where we need them."
Motorola, the GSMA’s Development Fund and MTC Namibia chose to run the Dordabis trial during the winter months, when both wind and solar energy would be at their lowest availability. Since May 2007, a solar array and a wind turbine have jointly been generating the electrical power needed to drive a mid-sized cell and support a microwave backhaul installation.
“Operators are investing heavily in developing their infrastructure in the African continent and other developing regions, but achieving wide coverage can be a significant challenge when base stations are located in remote areas," says Dawn Haig-Thomas, director of the GSMA Development Fund.
"Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar make it not only possible but also cost-effective for network operators to deliver mobile voice and data services in remote rural areas where mains electricity is either not available at all or prohibitively expensive.
"The successful conclusion of the trial with Motorola and MTC Namibia is exciting because it demonstrates to operators that they can break through one of the key barriers to expanding coverage."
Based on the successful trials conducted in Namibia and previously in the UK, which have generated interest from the operator community, Motorola renewable energy solutions are now commercially available.
"The Motorola GSM solutions used needed minimal maintenance, which helped to reduce the cost and complexity of remote-area maintenance for operators. We look forward to continue supporting the growth of operators such as MTC Namibia, through delivering practical and commercially viable solutions,” says Ali Amer, vice-president: sales for Middle East, Africa & Pakistan at Motorola Home & Networks Mobility.
Though the MTC Namibia trial was delivered on a GSM network, the Motorola solutions can be applied to other wireless networks that have rural cell site power issues. This trial, which was announced at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February 2007 and deployed in May 2007, has been named as a finalist in the British Computer Society’s awards for the best use of green technology.