Partnerships for the planet: Clean energy solutions MTN Uganda

26 April 2024

The three BTS sites, Jacana, Paludar and Konge, were originally powered by landlord generators and consumed fuel. The continuous operations (24/7) resulted in environmental pollution from emissions and ambient noise, in addition to high operating costs. The Konge BTS site had low availability, which impacted user experience while the Paludar and Jacana BTS sites had high operating costs as a result of the continuous use of the generator.

The implemented solar solution eliminated the need for continuous generator use, resulting in reduced fuel consumption. We saved over 5 100 litres of fuel across all sites. Additional benefits include:

  • Reduced downtime and callouts for rectification at sites owing to fewer generator related incidents.
  • Lower operating expenses owing to reduced maintenance requirements for generators.
  • Elimination of ambient noise pollution from constantly running generators.
  • Quantifiable savings of an estimated US$207 810 over the next five years, compared to the solution’s cost of US $68 104.

We faced challenges during implementation, including:

  • Damage to equipment during transportation.
  • Battery inefficiencies.
  • Security concerns regarding battery and solar panel theft.
  • Incompatibility with existing maintenance tools.
  • Fluctuations in weather conditions.

The adoption of solar power at BTS sites facilitates infrastructure development in regions lacking traditional power sources. These reliable, solar-powered BTS sites enable the expansion of telecommunication networks into remote and underserved areas, promoting economic growth and social inclusion. Improved connectivity provides access to information, education, healthcare and economic opportunities, empowering communities and driving local development. Overall, this initiative has the potential to spur economic growth, promote environmental sustainability and enhance overall resilience and connectivity within communities.