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Telcos defy downturn with green investment

Report claims urgent need to cut energy bills will ensure that investment in green telecommunications equipment continues

Telco operators are set to defy the global economic downturn and continue to ramp up investments in green infrastructure projects designed to enhance the energy efficiency of their power-hungry networks.

That is the conclusion of a major new report from IT industry analyst Ovum, which argues that worsening economic conditions will in fact help stimulate telco investment in environmental initiatives.

"For telcos, mobile and broadband customer adoption is beginning to slow as the market matures," report author Sally Banks told "So if they want to continue to grow profits they need to address costs, and energy is a huge and growing cost for them."

She added that with many telcos already investing in upgrading their networks with fibre optic cables, voice over internet systems and improved 4G mobile technologies, the bulk of them have accepted it makes sense to incorporate energy-saving systems as part of their upgrade programmes.

The report also said that a raft of green projects being undertaken by telcommunications firms, coupled with cutting energy use, are helping to enhance green credentials and underpin new environmentally friendly services for customers, such as video conferencing and mobile phone recycling.

"There are a very wide range of projects underway that go beyond energy efficiency, including the use of solar panels in developing economies to power base stations and the use of recycled materials in mobile phones," said Banks. She added that there were no signs that investment in these projects would drop off as a result of the economic slowdown.

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