5- We Need Smarter and Greener Telecommunications Networks

You probably know that the electricity used to power all computing Data Centers in the world generate more CO2 emissions than the Air Transportation industry, despite all these planes burning huge quantities of  jet-fuel in our skies!     

Green Telecom Network Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014


 Therefore reducing data center power usage is one of the strategic focus of any CIO or Data Center manager, as well as for all computers, servers, storage vendors, not just for the satisfaction of being  Green but also and first to reduce operating cost as power is one of the major cost of operating a Data Center.     

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) & Operators have a double challenge as they also need to reduce the power consumption of their Network Operation Center (NOC), especially now that fixed and mobile communications are growing fast, the volume of data transmitted is exploding and their network is quickly expanding to satisfy the demand.     

Telecom Networks have become a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and growth, and all CSPs are being challenged to reduce their carbon emissions , to use more energy-efficient hardware to power their network elements (micro-processors, servers, storage, network switches vendors are being challenged to manufacture and sell more energy-efficient equipments), to use new  and more efficient cooling technologies, to optimize their resource with virtualization technologies, to use renewable energy, to Recycle & Reuse, in a nutshell to be Smarter and Greener.     

Most of them today are putting a lot of effort and resources in greener initiatives to meet these challenges, to reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions, which in the end will improve their Capital Expenses (Capex) and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of their network and also dramatically reduce their operating expenses (Opex).     

A recent report from Pike Research, Cleantech Market Intelligence, addresses in much detail all the following questions:     

•             Who are the leading providers, OEMs, and technology companies that are driving green telecom initiatives?     

•              What are some of the best practices being implemented today?     

•              What is the impact of green telecom on emerging markets versus developed markets?     

•              What is the business case for green telecom, and which components have the most impact on ROI?     

•              What is the market opportunity for green telecom in terms of Capex spending?     

•              How large is the opportunity for renewable energy in telecom networks?     

•              What is the potential for carbon emissions reduction through green telecom initiatives?     

I have included in this blog two charts from the Pike Research Report.     

So many new technologies, solutions and best practices are available today to help CSPs meet their challenges, it is also a great market opportunity for vendors and integrators:     

•             Network and data center platforms and designs , More efficient cooling technologies and design     

•              Access network efficiency improvements: DSLAMs, ONTs, BTSs, etc.     

•              Smart processors, controllers, and sensors     

•              Fuel cells and batteries     

•              Remote monitoring solutions (hardware and software)     

•              Solar PV for network power,  Wind energy for network power, Biomass for network power     

•              Improved ASICs,  Low Energy CPUs, IP Softswitches, Reduced Power RF Amplifiers     

•              Hardware, Software and Applications Virtualization     

•              Cloud Computing  etc…     

Mobile Network Green Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014


 So it should be a Win-Win for all, reduce cost and increase profitability and competitiveness for CSPs, additional revenue for innovative technology vendors and improved carbon emission for our planet.     

As so much of our life in the future will depend more and more on communications, 


We Need Smarter and Greener Telecom Networks!  









4- What is the right Business Model for Telecom Service Providers to profit from Femtocells?

First to clarify, a Femtocell is, a wireless access point, a small device attached to a home broadband network router (DSL or cable) in order to increase significantly quality and coverage of your wireless/cellular network for your mobile devices around your home (or small business).  

Femtocell for your Home !


Femtocell technology is proven and has been on the market for some time, with high expectations and little success until now, and not much better short term forecast. It seems Service Providers are not convinced on the value of using and selling it, and Users are not willing to pay for it, so demand is low.  

However, in my view Femtocell adoption should be a win-win:  

–          Better coverage & performance, improved customer experience for the consumer, and eventually new services and affordable pricing options  

–          Incremental revenue, improved customer service & experience, reduced churn, reduced cost to deliver mobile data & traffic, competitive advantage, increased profitability for the Service Provider.  

So why are we not there yet? It really is  a question of finding the right business model and marketing messaging.  

It seems the best option is for the Service Provider to give them away to their customers.  

AT&T MicroCell femtocell business model is not working, with the MicroCell device being offered at $150 one time fee, femtocell traffic being billed against broadband caps, and customers complaining to have to pay for leak of AT&T’s network coverage and service.  

But times are changing, and East is moving faster it seems, as Softbank Mobile and Ubiquisys just announced July 1st, they will provide in Japan the Femtocell Hub and its required broadband service access (DSL) for FREE to the consumers, residential, retails or small businesses. And in return, the user will have to share the link with others users of the mobile service.  

“The SOFTBANK MOBILE femtocells will be set to open access mode, meaning all customers will be able to access the devices, increasing coverage for all, offloading traffic from the macro network and adding network capacity.”  

I believe this is the right move and Business Model, and I expect others Service Providers to embrace it, sooner or later, all or in part, for everyone’s benefit.  

If you believe in a better business model, now is the time to share it with us !