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efficient mobile network planning significantly reduces CO2 emissions

Mobile network operators are creating a global annual excess carbon footprint equivalent to running nearly 3 million 3-bedroom family homes, according to research undertaken by Actix, a firm specialised in systems that enhance mobile network customer experience. Despite all the concern about carbon footprints and energy bills, operators are failing to embrace a huge opportunity to reduce emissions, reduce their energy costs and provide better customer experience at the same time.

"This continues to surprise me, as energy currently represents the third most significant operating expense for the average mobile carrier, and they could actually improve business performance and customer experience by embracing environmental concerns" said Alex Hawker, Chief Executive at Actix. With the imminent roll-out of mobile broadband networks (3G/4G) set to increase power demands, few operators are considering how this unnecessary carbon expenditure can be reduced through a more efficient planning of their mobile network.

Mobile network energy consumption currently stands at 61 billion kWH worldwide, with each of the multi-millions of base stations producing almost 10 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Conservative estimates project that this consumption will double by 2011, totaling 449 billion kWH over the five year period, at a cost in excess of £22 billion. The largest mobile network operators produce more carbon per year than some of the largest car rental companies, with the top 20 carriers worldwide accounting for almost 40% of total emissions by wireless networks.

By reducing network base station usage by just 15%, mobile operators could save £3.8 billion - the equivalent of 28 billion kg of CO2 or of a jumbo jet flying from London to New York and back every day for the next 165 years. Reducing global mobile network energy consumption by 20% in 2007 alone would equate to a 1% cut in annual global emissions from airlines.

"Mobile operators are in a position to save the environment from an unnecessary 28 billion kgs of CO2 over five years by embracing advanced software solutions to these environmental challenges -which incidentally will also save tens of millions of dollars per year on the running costs of their networks, as well as improve the end customer's experience" said Alex Hawker, Actix' CEO. "Corporate responsibility demands that we do all we can to minimize our carbon footprint - and if we can save money in the process, the rational is compelling to act now."

Actix specializes in helping mobile network operators to use advanced automated management software systems to reduce the total cost of ownership of a wireless network, while rapidly and accurately improving the quality of experience offered to the end customer. Actix systems have helped operators cut the size of their network in the range of 15% to 30%, while actually improving measures such as dropped calls and coverage.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.