Telecom in China going green

Melissa Chua
10 Jun 2011

China’s telecom operators are taking up the challenge to conduct business in more energy-efficient methods, according to a KPMG report.

International firms such as BT and Vodafone have set energy reduction goals of up to 50% over a 10 year period, and their Chinese operations have likewise been involved in the bid to reduce carbon footprint.

Local operators too, are seeing the value of going green, particularly with regard to base station energy consumption. China Mobile used 11 billion kW hours of power in its base stations and data centers, accounting for 87% of its total energy use in 2009.

Vodafone China’s GM Xia Hao said the company was very engaged in reducing energy consumption on base stations, and needed to see a return on investment within three years; he called for vendors to spur R & D efforts.

Reducing energy usage in base stations could be achieved with minimal investment, the report said. Jeremy Hendy, VP of radio technology firm Nujira said the incremental costs of making base stations more energy efficient was negligible – around the cost of 2 or 3 text messages per subscriber.

China’s regulator, the MIIT and state council SASC have recommended the sharing of infrastructure between operators. Currently, several base stations, towers and trunk links have been co-built and are co-owned by carriers to split operating costs and leverage existing energy saving technologies.

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