Bharti Infratel, GSMA partner for green telecom towers

Bharti Infratel owns over 33,000 of India's estimated 400,000 towers.

New Delhi: Global telecom body GSM Association (GSMA) and Bharti Airtel's tower arm Bharti Infratel Wednesday said they have partnered to develop and promote green technologies for telecom tower infrastructure in the country.

The collaboration will entail working together to convert 1,000 Bharti Infratel towers into green sites, which will reduce greenhouse gas carbon emissions by almost 11,000 tonnes as a result of the reduced usage of diesel, a statement Wednesday said.

Bharti Infratel owns over 33,000 of India's estimated 400,000 towers.

The company has already converted over 10,500 sites to alternative back-up power, out of which almost 1,350 sites are now on solar hybrid, it said.

Under the partnership, another 1,000 would be converted as the first step of engagement with the GSMA, the statement said.

Bharti Infratel is focussing on reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.54 lakh tonnes per year by reducing diesel consumption by 58.17 million litres per year.

"We are delighted to join hands with the GSMA and firmly believe that this partnership will present an exciting expansion to our expertise and leadership in deploying clean energy initiatives across our tower footprint," Bharti Infratel Chief Technical Officer Sairam Prasad said.

The GSMA's Green Power for Mobile programme, supported by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), works to promote and institutionalise green power in a number of markets, including India.

"This partnership will have significant impact in reducing operating expenditure by 10-20 percent at each individual site, as well as a significant reduction in carbon emissions," GSMA Development Fund Managing Director Chris Locke said.

Using the insights gained from partnership with Bharti Infratel, a best practice guide and case study will be created, he added.

Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.