Not a single day goes by without a heartwarming announcement from a company declaring that it is implementing
a green solution or process. Clearly, the threats from Mother Nature have woken up everyone. And we, in the
Telecom world, are not spared from this responsibility either. While many companies started incorporating
“green” actions years ago, there still are many areas that need to be tackled.
There are two (2) main categories of green actions to consider. Firstly, there are “sweeping” actions which,
although they are immediately environmentally beneficial, require more time and thought prior to execution as
they require radical changes in terms of equipment, processes, attitudes, and ultimately budgets. For example,
there is substantial research being made into alternative energy sources but these solutions still require further
research and progress to be fully beneficial and commercially cost-effective.
Secondly, there are smaller actions that can be immediately undertaken which, even though their individual
overall environmental impact may seem minimal, still deliver considerable value when measured as a whole.
Power requirements for remote base stations are one example. The diesel fuel necessary to run these stations is
expensive, and using it efficiently is critical to controlling operational costs. There are management tools available
today that immediately provide real-time monitoring of fuel consumption, allowing operators to fine-tune
performance for optimal efficiency, while simultaneously providing accurate inventory forecasting capabilities, all
while controlling costs. A simple solution that, nonetheless, has an immediate and measurable environmental
Another example can be found in the growing popularity of data-enabled mobile devices. The iPhone and other
smart devices are generating huge demand for multimedia data services, putting immense pressure on backhaul
networks, and this traffic is only expected to grow. To support this trend, many manufacturers have proposed the
implementation of new protocols and physical layer technologies. But, while these technologies may provide
quality 3G/4G performance capabilities for internet, video and voice services, they come at what cost? These
solutions force mobile operators to ultimately rip-out and throw-away the existing TDM infrastructure and lay new
fiber directly to all the cell sites. All the legacy equipment must be disposed of, and precious and costly energy must be used to build-up the new infrastructure.
While there may be some operators with the CAPEX and operational resources available to carry out this networkwide
upgrade without impacting revenue-generating services, the majority of them require an alternate solution
that is both more fiscally and environmentally responsible.
In many South American countries, for example, operators are re-deploying their old TDM base stations in rural
areas where traffic is not yet so demanding, and only upgrading the most congested urban areas first. While this
requires that aggregation points continue to support both TDM and 3G/4G traffic for another 5 to 7 years, it does
not require the deployment of additional E1 lines or pseudowire technology that would defeat the purpose and
Rather, implementing a rugged, proven aggregation and compression solution is an excellent option. Combined
with statistical multiplexing and leveraging the different patterns of traffic (e.g. voice traffic typically peaks at 6
p.m, while data traffic typically peaks later at night), aggregation and compression techniques provide substantial
gains (30 to 60 %!) on the total traffic capacity. It requires a very small investment with a minimal impact on the
environment, while simultaneously extending the life span of existing infrastructure investments.
The future can benefit, financially and environmentally, from proven techniques that focus on improving what we
already have rather than replacing everything. This approach applies to addressing traffic growth in telecom
networking as much as to other aspect of our lives. The fiscally sound and environmentally safe approach to
managing the ever-increasing growth of data traffic is to compress the data and offload some of it to existing less
time-critical conduits. This approach limits the purchasing of new equipment without sacrificing performance
objectives, while simultaneously taking a small but significant step towards controlling consumption and waste.
Committing to a green attitude does not have to conflict with supporting continued revenue growth. Memotec’s
approach to network optimization focuses on extending the lifespan of existing network elements and upgrading
infrastructure step-by-step according to needs to control spending and reduce waste. Along with careful design,
manufacturing, distribution and disposal processes, this approach demonstrates Memotec’s philosophy towards
protecting the beautiful planet!