Alcatel-Lucent, with its Bell Labs facilities, however, is looking to respond to the need for broadband access in remote and otherwise inaccessible areas. Specifically, the company has launched what it says is the first alternative energy laboratory and pilot site in the world targeting the telecom industry in its Bell Labs site in Villarceaux, France, part of it Alternative Energy program.
Through this program, Alcatel-Lucent hopes to drive broadband access into rural areas, even those that fall outside commercial power grids, by developing energy-autonomous and efficient -- green -- wireless networking technologies that will help network operators overcome obstacles to providing broadband access.
The facility includes a wireless base station, powered by a hybrid system comprising solar panes and wind turbines -- as such it creates a power source independent of the power grid. Researchers are also studying the potential use of other alternative energy sources, including fuel cells and bio-fuels.
"The site offers Alcatel-Lucent and its customers and its industrial, institutional, and academic partners, the ability to analyze, test and validate the solutions proposed by the dynamic, but fragmented, alternative energy sector," said Rich Garafola, director of Sustainable Power solutions at Alcatel-Lucent. "It is also a center for people within the company and outside to discuss and try out new ideas to bring the world of telecoms and that of alternative energy closer together."
The company's Alternative Energy program not only addresses the need for exploring non-traditional power sources, both to conserve costs and support the growing green movement that is overtaking the telecom space, it also seeks to allow network operators to extend their reach to subscriber bases that have previously been outside their grasp.
In fact, Alcatel-Lucent says more than one billion people currently reside in areas not served by power grids -- meaning they not only lack broadband access, but also seemingly simple amenities like phone service, which severely limits their social and economic growth potential. Through its Alternative Energy program, Alcatel-Lucent -- which has already deployed more than 300 alternative energy powered radio sites -- hopes to bring its solutions to the mass market, with a goal of deploying more than 100,000 such wireless base stations by 2012.
This goal fits in well with its participation in the Mobile 2012 Virtual Tradeshow, which is set to deliver an outlook on the evolution of the wireless market through 2012 and beyond. Part of this virtual event, taking place June 11, 2009, from 9:00am-5:00pm ET, will focus on how operators can reach previously unreachable customers using the latest mobile technologies, while increasing their network efficiency without an exorbitant increase in footprint or operating cost.
In addition to Alcatel-Lucent's alternative energy solutions, attendees will have an opportunity to engage the company to learn about it entire outlook on the future of wireless communications, including how they can leverage the company's technology to evolve their service delivery capabilities to meet the growing demands of subscribers.
To learn how Alcatel-Lucent can help operators deliver on their commitments to their subscribers, register now. Not only is Alcatel-Lucent prepared to help operators extend their reach into underserved areas, but it also is driving the growth of the next generation of wireless networking with its LTE technologies, designed to enable the efficient delivery of all the latest wireless services well into the future.