Bharti Airtel to use solar energy to power its towers
To cut operational costs of its network, Bharti Airtel plans to use environmentally-friendly energy sources to power its telecom towers in Africa. The company plans about 1,300-1,400 towers to be powered by solar energy and some more harnessing wind energy, reducing their consumption of diesel by 11 million litres of fuel just this financial year, said a company spokesman. There is pilferage of around 3-6 per cent of diesel at towers in Africa, that may be curbed with alternate solutions, say experts. Indus Towers chief executive, BS Shantharaju said, the capital cost of setting up a solar power unit is Rs 9-11 Lacs per tower (for a load of 5 KW /tower). Indus Towers, a joint venture between Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular is the country's largest telecom tower company.