Alcatel-Lucent Announces Program For Deployment Of Wireless Base Stations Powered With Alternative Energies

February 24, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Alcatel-Lucent has launched a comprehensive program to enable the high-volume deployment of wireless base stations powered by alternative energy sources to address mobile operators’ increasing demand for energy-autonomous and green wireless networking equipment.

Alcatel-Lucent states that its new "Alternative Energy Program" will help ensure that service providers can quickly and cost-efficiently deploy wireless networks even to areas not served by electrical power, in all range of climates and geographies and under all deployment conditions. As part of the program the company is establishing a unique lab and pilot site at Alcatel-Lucent’s Villarceaux facility near Paris to foster an ecosystem of internal experts, partner companies and institutions to bring together the alternative energies and telecoms worlds.

"The way the industry deploys alternative energy powered base stations today is costly and time consuming because it is based on a site-by-site approach with multiple vendors involved - so it is a slow and laborious process and for the most part has only been done in sunny equatorial areas," said Mike Iandolo, Alcatel-Lucent’s President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Wireless Product Division. "Our Alternative Energy Program will bring to market the very first integrated, pre-tested, mass-produced, alternatively powered wireless base stations, which can be deployed on a global scale with delivery lead times comparable to that for standard base stations."

The company claims that this project will allow operators to extend the reach of their mobile services to serve a huge population of potential new subscribers – the more than one billion people living in areas that are not served by an electrical grid and therefore do not have access to phone or broadband services. It also will enable operators to renovate their existing sites with alternative energy powered solutions that will reduce their operating costs and better preserve the environment.

The lab and pilot site near Paris is a development and live testing facility that will enable Alcatel-Lucent to analyze, evaluate, test and validate solutions being offered in the dynamic and fragmented alternative energies market and how they might be incorporated into the telecommunications industry. The company claims that the facility will enable its R&D teams to build in unprecedented levels of integration between alternative energy sources and telecommunications equipment to improve the overall energy efficiency of the telecom sites and lower costs for operators.

The program relies on Alcatel-Lucent’s "Sustainable Power" service suite to help customers develop a comprehensive deployment plan tailored to their specific environment. Alcatel-Lucent provides consulting, analysis and management of the installation, transformation and integration of the entire network. A key component of the Alcatel-Lucent approach is the smart integration between the base station and the alternative energy source, and part of this integration is supported by the energy controller equipment. Alcatel-Lucent will be testing the power controller from Power Oasis, a UK-based provider of power solutions.

Looking forward, the program will not be limited to wireless base station but will expand the use of alternative energy sources to fixed access equipment such as DSLAMs, IP routers and more.