One of those hidden energy gobblers that – like internet data centers – is felt less by consumers than by service providers, cell phone towers are typically designed to run at full speed 24/7 in order to ensure consistent coverage. This not only costs a fortune, but a lot of energy is wasted in the process and heat-trapping CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. So Tel Aviv’s eVolution Networks developed a low-impact solution.
The SES system monitors and analyzes radio coverage and cell phone traffic to determine when it is safe to power down certain base stations without disrupting coverage for its customers. And if use patterns change, the system can adjust by switching which towers need to remain powered.
While many companies have been building new towers with lower wattage to slash their astronomical energy bills, eVolution Networks claims that their solution requires no additional hardware and can easily plug into any existing network.
Before making this announcement, the technology underwent an exhaustive trial run to ensure its efficacy. The group from Israel started testing their product in Jamaica in early 2012 and it didn’t become fully operational until October, 2012.
Digicel, which provides cellular services throughout the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific Rim, should save roughly $1.4 million each year with their new SES system and spare the atmosphere an additional 1.5 Kilotons of CO2 emissions, according to GigaOm.
In the first three months of operations, Digicel’s network-wide energy use in Jamaica dropped by 23 percent, though eVolution Networks claims that it is possible to achieve savings of up to 35 percent.
Jamaica is the first recipient of this ingenious new technology that received $4 million in funding from Breslau Capital Partners, but other large cellular providers are already sniffing around for their own piece of this energy and money-saving pie.
Map of Jamaica, Shutterstock