The GSMA and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have jointly announced a program to support mobile operators interested in deploying renewable energy base stations.
Under the program, the IFC – the World Bank private sector development arm - and the GSMA will offer technical assistance to mobile operators worldwide.
Their goal is to make cost-effective renewable energy one of the most widely used power sources for off-grid locations within four years.
“We have estimated that mobile operators across the developing world will incur a $14.6 billion diesel bill from powering off-grid base stations by 2012,” GSMA CEO Rob Conway said.
“Working together with IFC, we hope to address this by helping mobile operators to expand network coverage into remote regions, deploy renewable energy base stations, reduce their energy costs and minimize impact on the environment.”
The initial target is for 118,000 off-grid base stations worldwide to be powered by renewable energy by 2012, Conway added.