The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta has challenged Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to come up with innovations in sustainable energy.
He also assured of his readiness to support telecos on their transition to renewable energy adding that it is committed to responsibly using the world’s resources, including protecting the environment.
According to him, the innovation must be in line with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Recommendation ITU-T L.1380 on smart energy solutions for telecom sites’ performance, safety, energy efficiency and environmental impact.
Danbatta who spoke at an event to mark the 2023 World Consumer Rights Day with the theme: ‘Fair Digital Finance’, said that the anticipated growth in the number of 5G coverage will trigger high demand for data services which will result in increased energy consumption for the network infrastructure especially the Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), Internet of Things (IoT), 5G Customer Premise Equipment (CPEs) and mobile devices.
He therefore said the industry needs to look for green and sustainable power solutions required for the connectivity of IoT devices and network optimisation.
According to him, the Commission, as a responsive world-class organisation, has been proactive in responding to the realities and challenges posed by the impact of using fossil fuel as a power source in the telecommunications industry.
Speaking on the benefit of renewable energy, Danbatta stated that transitioning to renewable energy is predicted to result in a lower cost of operation as operators will be able to save on the cost of diesel, which accounts for a large chunk of the costs incurred by these licensees.
He said further that the competition that it consistently promotes among industry players has a natural consequence of the savings on the cost of diesel passed on to consumers, which would potentially result in lower prices for services.
While also speaking on regulations on e-Waste, Danbatta said that the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) will soon begin to sensitize telecom consumers about its interventions at making the environment better for all of humanity.
In his welcome remark, Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management), Mr Adeleke Adewolu said that as consumer volumes and service diversity continue to grow, network operators have to roll-out more infrastructure for coverage in new, mostly rural areas, and for network expansion in already saturated urban markets.
He said that emerging technologies like 5th Generation (5G) mobile services will also require more infrastructure adding that these infrastructure components are mostly powered by fossil fuels to ensure 100% availability.