Vodacom rolls out green base stations in Western Cape, South Africa
4 September 2012
Telecommunications group Vodacom has installed two hybrid base stations in the Vleiland Valley farming community in the Western Cape.
The community, which is situated between two mountains and previously used expensive satellite phones to communicate, would now receive second- and third-generation network coverage from base stations that operate on solar tracking and wind power generation technology.
The solar tracking systems link to international GPS to allow panel alignment with the sun, eliminating the need for upfront array placement studies. The panels are about 34% smaller than a conventional solar panel, as less surface area is required to reach maximum power.
The network technology installed in the base stations, which Vodacom chief technology officer Andries Delport said was the first of its kind in Africa, would also enable the farmers to automate farm-operated pumps, dam levels and irrigation systems. The sites were also adapted for any future expansions.