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Monday, December 05, 2011

Airtel unveils green site, spends N96.7bn on network expansion


Airtel Nigeria in collaboration with Ericsson has roll-out its first green site in Lekki, Lagos, even as mobile telecom operator has expended in excess of $600m, about N96,725,948,246.02 on network expansion.

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Mr. Deepak Srivastava, disclosed this while conducting newsmen round the green site built by Ericsson in Lagos, at the weekend.

He said that the latest investment by Airtel as at December 1, 2011, would improve network capacity and quality of service.

According to him, Airtel Networks Limited, has invested over $600m in the past 12 months to expand the capacity and enhance the Quality of Service (QoS) on the network.
 
He recalled that Airtel Nigeria recently proclaimed a landmark deal with Ericsson to upgrade 250 diesel powered stations in the country to Green-sites, an initiative designed to enable the company harness solar energy to operate its base stations.

He said, the green-sites would contribute to a substantial reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and prevent network outages associated with inconsistent power supply.

Srivastava lamented the fact that non-availability of regular grid power supply to sites across the country is responsible for over 70 per cent of down time resulting in poor QoS, stressing that the green-site would go a long way in addressing this critical challenge.

Further, he revealed that the company was exploring other options including a partnership with the World Bank to address the nagging issue of power supply especially to the remote communities.

Airtel, he emphasized, has in the last six months installed dual generating sets in 200 sites and installed high back up batteries in 600 sites, while additional high capacity back up batteries and 500 new generating sets were to be deployed by March 2012.

He decried that in some other countries, operators are concerned with managing customer experience rather than keeping the sites up as is the case in Nigeria.

“… Where power outages, fibre cut and community issues have combined to undermine the integrity of the network quality,” he lamented.

Mr. Srivastava, went on to disclose that Airtel had in the last 12 months continued to make significant capital expenditure(CAPEX) investment towards improving network quality and has embarked on specific initiatives to expand its network coverage.

Airtel, he maintained, has invested heavily on site rollout, power improvement projects, fiber roll-out, microwave replacement, technical engineering, network capacity enhancement and adaptive multiple rate.

For him, Airtel has built over 500 additional sites in the last six months and intends to complete an additional 1,000 sites by March 2012.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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