Exclusive Speaker Interview with Mohammed Adamu, Millicom International Cellular

M AdamuHow much does your role at Millicom International Cellular focus on reducing the environmental impact of operations?

A lot of ways, however the cost of energy is the umbrella goal.

Which area of operations are African operators focussing on first, in order to become more energy efficient?

As a business, most Africa operators focus on connection to the grid first, alternative energy next, then energy efficiency etc. in that order. However, this is changing as the challenge for revenue is hitting the operators. Consequently, several initiatives like managed services, out-sourcing and tower-co have evolved as measures to spare operators of the termed distractive efforts from what should be core business of the operators.    

How has multi operator cooperation been built in order to reduce the environmental impact of telecommunications?

Multi operator cooperation or col-location is supported by most regulatory bodies in Africa country. The cost of infrastructure and business profitability saw most operators signing and implementing the initiatives. However, the initiative had the following draw backs: the host operator is still responsible for site operations at PKI level -a small operator benefits more by increasing network coverage to gain market share – administrative requirements of payments and correct implementation, limitation in network planning parameters etc.

What progress has been made in the use of renewable energy supplies, especially for off-grid power stations?

Generally, there is progress. The GSMA has done great work by keeping a tracker of the process of disclosure by operators: http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/green-power-deployment-tracker-renewable-energy-sources-by-the-mobile-industry-around-the-globe . However, classification of energy initiatives have to be properly defined and used. The use of DCB with diesel generator sites and DCB with solar panels or wind turbine cannot be the same for a renewable energy initiative. Also, without some support by government policy, a full solar site will not pass the economic alternative power test for implementation in most BTS sites and under the financial rules of most operators.

Why do you think Telco Energy & Infrastructure Efficiency is an important industry meeting place to learn and network at?

I think it is an important meeting to learn and network because it provides a neutral ground where social and economic values of  Telco Energy & Infrastructure Efficiency are investigated, identified and recorded for use by all stake holders of the subject. Experts will find the views of their colleagues and arrive at a generally accepted facts; telecom business operators and associates can refine their best practice for greater productivity and informed environmental impact by sharing views with one another. Government representatives will find it a useful source of information to support the industry with, and at the same time deliver a more efficient governance for energy and telecom infrastructure sustainability.



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