Orange Guinea Conakry utilizes renewable energy to expand and enhance its mobile network.
With a population of approximately 10 million people and a penetration rate of only 23 percent, Guinea Conakry offers great potential for network growth. However, taking advantage of the opportunity the region offers has traditionally proven a challenge. The main obstacle to the expansion of mobile networks is the absence of an established power grid. Without a reliable power supply, mobile communications networks simply could not operate effectively – until now.
In order to operate effectively in the region, Orange Guinea Conakry required a system that was easy to install, required minimal maintenance and delivered improved network reliability. The operator recognized Ericsson's RBS 2111 as a means to deliver mobile coverage where previously it had been impossible. Featuring reduced power consumption, the RBS 2111 can be powered by locally generated and renewable energy. Historically, the installation of a mobile base station in the region has required a diesel generator and the cost of refueling and protecting the on-site fuel from theft. With solar energy as the primary power source, opex has been significantly reduced as the size of the network has grown.
The RBS 2111 low-energy sites in Guinea Conakry remain operational 24 hours a day through the combination of solar panels, diesel generators and batteries. During the day the power is generated by the solar panels. This is sufficient to run the site and allow for some additional output to be stored. In the evening the batteries take over and supply the power until the following morning. In urban sites, where accessibility is easier and the cost or availability of land for the solar cells is prohibitive, diesel generators and recycling batteries provide power to the RBS 2111.
Following the establishment of operations in Guinea Conakry, the project was recognized within Orange as the best green field launch of the year. Mamadou Goumble, Key Account Manager, Ericsson, discusses the solution: "The RBS 2111 offers very low power consumption and because of this it requires a minimal space for its solar panels. This technology has meant that we have been able to install solar powered base stations not only in the traditional rural areas, but also in many urban areas. This has resulted in significant cost savings for the operator, as well as a reduced environmental impact. The green benefits of the solution are obvious. Guinea Conakry is a highly competitive market with five major players. The Ericsson solution has enabled Orange to expand its network, quickly and efficiently gaining the number two market position in just six months."
The RBS 2111 has enabled Orange Guinea Conakry to deliver a reliable and cost efficient mobile communications network to the region; one that for the first time is not dependent upon the local power grid. Karim Bangoura, Global Quality of Service Manager, Orange Guinea Conakry, talks about the solution and the benefits it brings to the people of the region: "The RBS 2111 reduces power consumption by half, while maintaining the high level of performance that we require and has been very straightforward to install and integrate into the existing network. With the RBS 2111 we can reach people who would otherwise be unable to communicate, those in the remotest areas of the countryside where power was and is still not available. We rely on solar power and this low energy solution has enabled us to expand our operations in the region quickly, while remaining very competitive."
Customer: Orange Guinea Conakry