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Embrace Solar-Powered Telecom Towers-EU :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Embrace Solar-Powered Telecom Towers-EU

The station in Busawula, Wakiso District off Entebbe Road is only powered by a solar power unit with a capacity of 11 kilowatts, and a standby diesel-powered generator. The EIB-funded facility is part of a wider project by TowerCo of Africa Ltd to build more renewable energy-powered telecommunication infrastructure
Officials of TowerCo interact with EIB and EIB counterparts at the Busawula base station

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The European Union and its investment bank are excited at the first Solar-Powered base station (telecommunication tower) that they hope will be a game changer in sustainable telecommunication infrastructure investments.

The station in Busawula, Wakiso District off Entebbe Road is only powered by a solar power unit with a capacity of 11 kilowatts, and a standby diesel-powered generator.

Myriam Ferran, the Deputy Director General of International Partnerships at the European Commission, said the project proposal was in line with their bid to promote green or climate-friendly projects that aim to reach underserved communities.

She says this is part of their plan to expand digital network access to more of the needy areas in the country to make sure almost all Ugandans have access to adequate communication infrastructure.

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The European Investment Bank, in partnership with other European agencies financed the project to the tune of 40 million euro, attracted by the fact that it would use renewable energy and improve access to digital services for the people there.

Andrea Clerici, the Director, of the European Investment Bank, said the EIB is ready to finance any project that is environmental and climate-friendly, terming the EIB the “EU climate bank”

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The project owned and operated by TowerCo of Africa, formerly Ubuntu Towers Uganda Ltd, is part of a bigger investment, currently boasting 500 sites across Uganda.

Geoffrey Donnels Oketayot, the Chief Executive Officer, of TowerCo of Africa, says the Busawula station is the first of this kind, but that they hope to use the funding from the EU agencies to build more renewable energy-powered stations.

According to him, the license from the Uganda Communications Commission-UCC and the telecommunication services guidelines, require that they spread to more than 90 percent of the landmass of the country.

This particular funding will enable them to reach remote areas where there is no grid electricity, and Oketayot says, it will be easier to hit the target within five years.

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Ronald Onjia, the TowerCo Chief Operations Officer, the technology they are now deploying is also more beneficial to the users of the telecommunication network because it ensures minimum interruptions arising from power failures.

But also, adds that in constructing the stations, the surroundings are taken care of to ensure that the equipment will also perform efficiently.

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