“Our approach to managing our network as responsibly as possible is very simple: we put sustainability at the heart of every decision,” said Andrea Dona, chief network officer, Vodafone UK. “There is no silver bullet to reducing energy consumption, but each of these steps forward takes us closer to achieving net zero for its UK operations by 2027.” Vodafone, alongside network partner Cornerstone, will now run a proof of concept to install Crossflow Turbine technology on rural mobile sites. Read more: UK faces property crunch as demand for homes outstrips supply
Vodafone (VOD.L) has built and is testing an off-grid mobile phone tower, which could help the telecommunications company achieve net zero by 2027. If the trial is successful, the new technology will be deployed across the UK. The so-called “Eco-Towers” will also make it possible to set up new mobile sites in the most remote regions without having to deal with the difficulties and costs of connecting to the power grid. Vodafone and Crossflow Energy have been collaborating for the past two years on the creation of a self-powered mobile network tower using Crossflow Energy’s unique and original wind turbine technology paired with the latest in solar and battery technologies.
Vodafone says that the use of locally generated renewable power reduces the environmental impact of the site. Alongside this, the increased renewable contribution from wind and solar together with battery storage systems on site removes reliance on diesel generators for back-up power. On-site power generation that is independent from the electricity grid also improves security of supply. Vodafone said that globally, across 21 countries, the company will halve its emissions in its supply chain by 2030, before reaching net zero across its full value chain by 2040.
With the imagery and 3D digital twin, radio engineers and network design teams can work in a virtual environment, saving time and money, speeding up network deployment across the UK, while also helping Vodafone reduce its carbon footprint, the telecoms company said.
Other net zero initiatives by Vodafone have included a trial with Ericsson using drones and Lidar-based 3D technology. With drones collecting high-definition imagery and Lidar technology collecting data to help build a 3D digital twin model, now only specialist operators need to travel to sites for surveys.