Solar-powered cell sites win global award for Smart


Posted at Feb 21 2009 01:24 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2009 01:01 AM

Smart Telecommunications Inc. bagged the newly introduced "Green Mobile Award" at the 2009 global congress of the mobile phone industry for promoting environment-friendly initiatives.

Called "Alternative Power for Cell Sites," Smart's program was given the award for using renewable sources such as wind and solar energy to power cell-sites in remote areas of the country.

The company won over entries from companies such as Nokia Siemens Networks (Environmentally Sustainable Business Initiative), Vodafone (Reducing Network Energy Use), Alcatel-Lucent (Eco-sustainable Communications Transformation), and Telenor (Climate Change Program).

Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando Vea received the award at the annual gala dinner of GSM Association (GSMA) at the National Palace in Barcelona: “We’re very honored by this award because it’s not just about our mobile business. It’s about our planet – yours and mine.”

For his part, Smart President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno expressed pride that a Philippine company won the first green award to be given by the GSMA.

"Given the growing global concern about climate change, this is a very relevant and meaningful award that will challenge us to do more," Nazareno said.

Judges described Smart’s entry as “an impressive project showing real benefits – this reduces fuel and handling costs, pollution, and noise – as well as making mobile communications more widely available by enabling cell sites in off-grid locations.”

Some benefits of Smart's program include reduced operational costs due to lower diesel consumption, less oil spills and carbon emissions, better community relations and seamless data and voice service in off-grid areas.

To date, Smart has some 68 cell sites nationwide which are powered by renewable energy. Of this number, 41 are run by wind energy, while 27 use both wind and solar energy. 

The Green Mobile Award was sponsored by consultancy firm AT Kearney, and is aimed at recognizing mobile operators which have initiated projects promoting environmental protection and sustainability.

Smart has previously received recognition from the GSM awards such as the most Innovative GSM Wireless Service for Customers award (2001) for its electronic wallet service Smart Money, Best Mobile Application or Service - Consumer Market award (2004) for its prepaid reloading service Smart Load, and Best Mobile Advertising in the GSMA's inaugural Asia Mobile Awards (2007) for its "1-in-5 Panalo" promo implemented for global cola brand Pepsi Co.