Recent Moves in Green Telecom

Not too long ago the telecom service providers, and their suppliers, discovered the virtues of promoting the green face of business. Whether it is solar panels on the roof (AT&T in sunny California), wind turbines on the roof (BT in not-so-sunny U.K.), Web environmental channels (Orange France), magnetic-bearing centrifugal chillers to increase the efficiency of water-cooled air conditioning systems (Ascent Media Network Services, U.S.), or organizing conferences on green telecom issues (jokes about hot air, anyone?), we are all pretty much green now.

But telecom may have a stronger case for going green – and much bigger problems, too, in doing so – than the local hairdresser, because of the extent of its potential environmental impacts. Telecom networks and services underpin, and can alter, social and economic structures – and burn gigawatt-hours in so doing, such is the scale of their operations.

"Increasingly telcos and vendors alike are not only keen to be environmentally responsible, but are also looking at ways to reduce costs – which greener networks, less use of materials, and efficient cooling systems in data centers all provide," says Sally Banks, senior analyst, Telco Operations, at advisory and consulting firm Ovum Ltd. , and author of the report, "Green Telecoms: Strategies and Implications for Operators." "Mobile operators and vendors seem to be driving this very hard, as there is much more scope – for example, solar-powered base stations, improving battery life of handsets so there is less need to recharge them, and so on."

From a vendor perspective, the operators’ drive towards greener telecom networks is becoming more and more important.

"I wouldn’t say it’s their number one priority, because, in the competitive environment we are in, profitable revenue growth opportunities are priority one for our customers," says Dan Kelly, EVP of Global Products Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA). "But it is a very close priority two, and something that customers are even outlining as goals."

All this is taking the telecom industry to some extent into unknown territory, and raises questions such as whether business plans and procurement are being significantly affected, and whether there is potential for significant changes in network or equipment practice, design, and operation. While this report is not designed to recount every single green telecom movement that has happened in the past few months, it does review some selected recent developments to help form a picture of where green telecom has got to, and where it may be going next.

Here’s a hyperlinked contents list:

— Tim Hills is a freelance telecommunications writer and journalist. He's a regular author of Light Reading reports.

Next Page: What’s the Problem?

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Green Telecom East 2009: Transitioning to Environmentally Responsible Networks, a one-day conference designed to provide telecom executives with a concise summary of the latest infrastructure developments that will facilitate a global transition to environmentally responsible networks, to be staged in New York, June 17. For more information, or to register, click here.

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diogenes00 12/5/2012 | 4:04:42 PM
re: Recent Moves in Green Telecom

The ECR isn't a joint venture between IXIA and *Jupiter* Networks, as you state on Page 5; it's a venture between IXIA and *Juniper* Networks. See http://www.ecrinitiative.org/ for more.

[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 4:04:40 PM
re: Recent Moves in Green Telecom


Whoops! Thanks. Typo + Freudian slip. At least it's Juniper everywhere else. Will ask copydesk to fix.

Tim Hills

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