A group of researchers at IIT Bombay have developed an innovative technology which will reduce fuel consumption at telecom towers across the country and is expected to bring down energy costs by atleast 10 per cent. The technology developed is a “cost optimisation tool” that determines the best strategy for each telecom tower site instead of group-based evaluation that is followed presently, according to the researchers. The technology, said researchers, is expected to bring an industry-wide saving of Rs 2000 crore annually.
“The current energy spending at telecom tower sites stands at Rs 19,100 crore per annum and diesel constitutes approximately 45 per cent of the total power and fuel expenses. The industry is trying hard to check the cost escalation due to inflation in diesel price rise,” said Rushabh Shah, who worked at TICET (Tata Teleservices IIT Bombay Centre of Excellence in Telecom) and is the founder of Optenet, which is helping commercialise this technology.
TICET is a joint venture between IIT Bombay, Tata Teleservices Limited and Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.
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The solution developed includes a simulation environment where the operator can evaluate different cost saving strategies. For each telecom site, the tool continuously monitors and records the day-to-day data. Based on the data, it suggests the optimisation strategy, which could include solar panels or wind energy or fuel cells among others and accordingly tells the operator where they should invest.
“It has been field tested by a leading infrastructure provider. We have ongoing engagements with several major cellular operators and infrastructure providers, aimed at widescale rollout of our technology. We expect to deploy our solution at over 50,000 sites in this financial year,” he said.
Shah said that the estimated reduction is 100 million litre of diesel and 2.6 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the first year of deployment. Focused trials with telecom infrastructure providers have shown reduction in operational expenditure in the range of 25-50 per cent across geographies. The expected savings on energy costs is over 10 per cent for largescale deployment.
“As per the guidelines of the Department of Telecommunications, 50 per cent of the telecom sites in rural areas and 33 per cent in urban areas will have to go green by the next year-end. Our technology would enable the operator meet these guidelines in the most cost-efficient manner,” said Shah.