Green energy to power telco towers in Africa

Bharti AirtelBSE 0.62 % plans to use environmentally-friendly energy sources to power its telecom towers in Africa as part of an effort to reduce the operational costs of running the network.

The company plans about 1,300-1,400 towers to be powered by solar energy and some more harnessing wind energy, reducing their consumption of diesel by 11 million litres of fuel just this financial year, said a company spokesman.

An industry expert, who asked not to be named said there is pilferage of around 3-6% of diesel at towers in Africa, that may be curbed with alternate solutions.

Indus Towers chief executive, B S Shantharaju said, the capital cost of setting up a solar power unit is Rs 9-11 Lacs per tower (for a load of 5 KW /tower).” Indus Towers, a joint venture between Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea CellularBSE 1.32 %, is the country’s largest telecom tower company.

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