Ericsson and Orange bring sustainable and affordable connectivity to rural Africa


WEBWIRE – Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Orange Guinea Conakry and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) are deploying more than 100 base stations fully powered by solar energy, connecting remote parts of rural Africa. Using Ericsson’s energy-efficient base stations, a hybrid diesel-battery solution and solar panels, Orange is increasing mobile coverage in rural and urban areas, while taking concrete steps towards its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020. This enables remote areas without an established power grid to get access mobile communications.

Alassane Diene, CEO of Orange-Guinea Conakry, says: “We are reducing our energy bill. These base stations are also easier to install and require less maintenance than the traditional site. They also offer greater reliability and therefore considerably improved quality of service.”

Jan Embro, President of Ericsson for sub-Saharan Africa, says: “It is extremely exciting to be able to run sites on alternative energy sources. Limiting dependency on fossil fuels brings many advantages, but the greatest is the ability to offer sustainable connectivity to low-income users in remote areas across Africa.”

Ericsson’s hybrid diesel-battery energy solution replaces one of a site’s diesel generators with a bank of specially designed batteries that can handle a large amount of charging and discharging. This self-contained power solution can be set to meet the batteries’ optimal charging and discharging levels, extending the lifetime of the battery and the generator, and reducing energy-related costs by about 50 percent.

The Ericsson BTS 2111 radio base station is a main-remote solution without any active moving parts such as cooling fans. It reduces energy consumption up to 50 percent, allowing the site to be fully powered by solar energy, supported by a battery bank for 24/7 operation.

This rollout program supports the sustainability initiatives of both Ericsson and Orange, focusing on reducing the carbon footprint while making communication more affordable and accessible. Orange Group intends to have more than 1000 wholly solar-powered base stations in its African operations by the end of 2009.

Ericsson was first to deploy solar power in telecom, back in 2000. As radio technology becomes more energy-efficient, solar solutions have become increasingly economically viable. Reaching the next billion subscribers means expanding to rural off-grid areas. Ericsson sees attractive business cases for using renewable solutions all around the world.

Notes to the editor:

Visit Ericsson in Halls 6 and 8 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to learn more about its sustainable energy solutions and how telecom can contribute to social and economic development as well as the creation of a more carbon-lean economy.

Photos: www.ericsson.com/press/photos/alternative_energy.shtml

Background material on Ericsson’s energy-efficient solutions:
www.ericsson.com/press/facts_figures/doc/energy_efficiency.pdf

Ericsson’s multimedia content is available in the Corporate Responsibility area of the broadcast room: www.ericsson.com/broadcast_room

Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 250 million subscribers. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of ’communication for all’ through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27 billion (SEK 209 billion) in 2008. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm and NASDAQ

For more information, visit www.ericsson.com or www.ericsson.mobi.



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