The power and fuel challenge 26 May, 2008

We recently analysed the balance sheets of Airtel and Idea. The outcome was not surprising. One of the biggest chunks of operating costs is spelled “Power & Fuel”.

Mobile operators around the globe are faced with the problem of reducing ARPU because of fierce competition. The biggest challenge for operators is to rapidly enhance their existing infrastructure while remaining profitable.

One way to improve profitability is to reduce the costs of operations of the network. On analysis of the balance sheets of Airtel and Idea, we found that “Power and Fuel” forms the biggest chunk in the network operating costs.

Refer to the charts below for details of the distribution of network operating costs for Airtel and Idea (FY 2006 – 07).

Added to the actual cost of grid power and fuel for generators, the environmental impact of today’s mobile networks is enormous. Most of the electricity doesn’t come from renewable energy sources like wind or water.

In India alone, 2 billion litres of diesel fuel are burned annually just to power the diesel generators needed to keep Base Stations running.

To get a sense of the scale, 2 billion litres is the annual milk production in Venezuela, and the total amount of bottled water consumed in the UK every year.

Fortunately, VNL’s WorldGSM™ technology can help mobile operators lower network operating costs in rural and remote areas. In a sustainable way. Find out more »


3 comments to “The power and fuel challenge”

  1. Pls let me know how you have calculated the figure of 2 billion litres, or from where you have taken this figure?

    Written by Avadhesh Agrawal on May 27th, 2008 at 12:36 am

  2. @ Avdesh: The figure 2 billion litres is based on our own calculations, which take into account the total number of BTS sites, average power load, generator load per day, and more.

    We’re just about to publish our findings in a white paper called “The mobile energy crisis”, which will be published within a few weeks here on So stay tuned!

    Written by Pär Almqvist on June 30th, 2008 at 2:56 am

  3. [...] Read the entire post here [...]

    Written by The power and fuel challenge « Sapangoel’s Blog on November 22nd, 2008 at 1:18 am

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