The Environmental Benefits of WorldGSM™
GSM, as we know it today, was designed for urban locations in developing markets. It is a general purpose network entirely unsuited to the unique challenges of serving rural and remote communities. As operators continue to expand their networks into these areas, these challenges can escalate to a point where any further expansion is no longer viable. As a result, vast portions of the developing world are denied telecommunication access.
Power was clearly not an issue when GSM was conceived. A conventional base station site alone requires about 3,000 to 5,000 watts to run — not including any Base Station Controller (BSC) or Mobile Switching Center (MSC).
Running an off-grid diesel powered site has a direct impact on Operating Expenditure (OPEX). In remote areas like rural India, there is either no electricity grid or it’s only available for a few hours each day. Diesel generators are used to fill the gap times, resulting in over 1.8 billion litres of diesel fuel being burned every single year in India alone. Diesel prices are just one part of the story. In addition, poor fuel quality, cost and time to transport to remote locations, storage costs, pilferage and theft make this power source unsustainable for rural GSM deployments. The generators themselves are typically overworked and poorly maintained, resulting in replacement every two or three years — more waste, more greenhouse gas emissions.
A single traditional GSM base station would require a solar panel covering 200m². WorldGSM™ base stations only need two 2m² panels.
WorldGSM™ is the first mobile network that is solar-viable. Each Village Site base station uses the same amount of power as that needed to power a light bulb.
Each WorldGSM™ base station is powered by two photovoltaic panels, generating all the power needed. Power is stored in backup batteries to power transmissions through the night.
WorldGSM™ will allow billions of people to enjoy the benefits of communication, without the associated environmental impact.