Telstra, Australia: A smarter future

Telstra, Australia is an industry leader with an ambitious carbon emissions reduction program.
Telstra, Australia

Operators are increasingly recognizing that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be a powerful tool for mitigating carbon emissions. Telstra is committed to reducing its own environmental impact and doing everything possible to assist its customers in doing the same.

Ideas in action

In November 2009, Telstra announced that it would reduce its carbon emissions intensity, the amount of carbon emitted for every dollar earned, by between 10 and 15 percent by 2015. Much of this will be achieved by removing old technology from the network and replacing it with more efficient alternatives. Mike Wright, Executive Director of Networks, Access & Technologies, Telstra outlines some of the operator's ongoing initiatives: "Right now we are in the process of implementing GSM RBS power-saving features which will reduce total energy consumption. In addition we have raised the operating temperature on base station sites, which in many cases allows us to replace air-conditioning units with free cooling solutions. For every site where we have made this change we can reduce power consumption by between 22 and 30 percent. We are also now using the latest Ericsson main-remote base stations which allow us to locate the equipment closer to the antennas. That reduces energy loss to the antenna and additionally lowers power consumption compared with conventional base stations."

Measurement matters

To support its carbon cutting goal Telstra has joined forces with Ericsson in a new collaboration which will improve the efficiency monitoring on its network. During 2009, Telstra worked with Ericsson's consultants to conduct a nationwide carbon and energy audit of its wireless network. The approach, branded TCO2, estimates carbon emissions associated with network operations while minimizing total cost of ownership. By assessing the best combination of investment options for optimizing energy efficiency, the TCO2 approach supports operators' environmental and business objectives simultaneously. Telstra is the first operator to try the approach. Håkan Eriksson, Ericsson's CTO, sums up the benefits: "The TCO2 approach is vital when considering alternative network designs and power-saving features and evaluating capacity enhancements. I believe that those players not using a TCO2 approach will be at a significant disadvantage in the future."

Spread the word

Other industries are also striving to become more efficient and this presents many business opportunities for telecom operators. In fact, ICT's most significant role is enabling energy efficient solutions and operations in other sectors. As time goes by and networks grow bigger and more ubiquitous, more opportunities will arise to increase efficiency and logistics across various industries. Telstra already has many customers who are reducing their costs and their impact on the environment through use of communications technology. Mike Wright explains: "We have plumbers who are reducing the time they spend driving by an hour per day simply by using our technology. We have district nurses who are reducing their driving time by two hours per day using broadband enabled laptops."

Telstra's Next Generation network, supplied and installed by Ericsson, has significantly improved both the operator's cost efficiency and carbon footprint, and those of its subscribers. Telstra's environmental commitment is clear. Through its collaboration with Ericsson, it is a leader in harnessing the power of ICT to improve efficiency and contribute to environmental sustainability.


Customer: Telstra, Australia

Customer Objective

  • Improve efficiency and reduce costs
  • Reduce carbon impact
  • Provide a better service

Ericsson Solution

  • BTS Power savings features
  • Main remote
  • TCO2

Customer Benefits

  • Reduce opex
  • Strengthen reputation as a sustainable company
  • Be the first to pass efficiency gains on to users

Customer profile

Telstra is Australia's leading telecommunications and information services company with one of the best known brands in the country. In a very advanced telecom market, Telstra is at the forefront of adapting new technologies to increase efficiency and become more sustainable. Telstra is the 13th largest telecommunications operator in the world, based on market capitalization.

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