TRAI Seeks Views On ‘Green’ Telecom

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on ‘Green Telecommunications’. The paper, issued by TRAI, aims to engage the industry in evolving mechanisms to assess and control carbon footprint and deliberate on the need and form of carbon credit policy for the telecom sector. According to the paper, ‘Green’ telecom has many facets. It can be classified broadly in terms of greening of telecom networks, green telecom equipment manufacture, environment friendly design of telecom buildings and safe telecom waste disposal. green TRAI stated, “Change in the world’s climate and the ensuing natural calamities like floods and typhoons are attributed to increased greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), mainly that of carbon dioxide, resulting from increased consumption of energy by manufacturing and service sectors. With more and more subscribers being added to the telecommunication networks, energy consumption and contribution of the telecom sector, to the global greenhouse gas emissions, is increasing. The total carbon footprint of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry is about 860 million tonnes or 2% of global emissions and that of telecommunication network and devices about 0.7% of the global emissions.” “There is a growing concern about GHG emissions in India. To cater to its large subscriber base, there are about 3,10,000 telecom towers of which about 70% are in rural areas. Many of these areas have deficient power supply and, according to some reports, about 40% of the power requirement of these towers is being met by grid electricity and 60% by diesel generators. According to industry estimates, the total consumption of diesel, for telecom tower equipment powering and cooling, is about 2 billion litres which produces about 5.3 million litres of CO2 annually. With the continued growth of the subscriber base these numbers are only going to increase.” This is bringing into focus the need for energy efficient equipment and use of renewable sources of energy. In this context, TRAI has issued a consultation paper to collectively discuss, debate and take further action or recommend suitable measures.

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