Airtel to cut costs as it goes ‘greener’ in Africa

Bharti Airtel, which is a parent company to Airtel Malawi Limited has announced significant milestones to build a ‘green’ environment friendly mobile network and reduce its carbon footprint in Africa.

The telecommunications operator has undertaken a series of initiatives from last year like reducing  the number of telecom sites running solely on diesel by more than 50% by overcoming the challenge of lack of grid connectivity through use of innovative models such as Hybrid Battery Bank.

This resolution has been made at a Mobile Giants indaba taking place in Nairobi Kenya where Malawi is bring represented by Saulos Chilima the Managing Director of the Groups local operations.

“By 2013, the company aims to completely eradicate the constant use of diesel to power its network. This means no telecom site of the company will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day,” Airtel said.

Chilima: Airtel goes for hybrid power

Hybrid Battery Banks collect the excess energy produced by the diesel powered generator in a battery that powers the site once the generator in switched off.

This has helped reduce the use of diesel by up to 14 hours a day.

Nearly 60 percent of all Airtel’s telecom sites on the continent are now powered using the Hybrid model resulting in “major reduction in emissions and also operating costs for the company,” it said, adding that the company “now aims to raise this to over 70 percent by end of 2013.”

Eben Albertyn, Chief Technical Officer, Bharti Airtel, said, “This milestone is the result of significant steps by Airtel taken to ensure that we reduce our fuel consumption and that we play our part in conserving the environment.”

Airtel said that it has already made significant strides in using solar panels to power sites in select markets.

In Malawi, Airtel will be able to save millions of kwacha lost every hour due to power outages and fuel crises by relying on the Hybrid Battery Banks and Solar or wind power.

Experts in Malawi have received the news with delight since it will also in long run reduce the cost of accessing telephony and data services from the leading mobile phone company.

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