Mobile network operator (MNO) Vodafone UK claims to have switched on the country’s first live ‘self-powering’ mobile phone mast. In a press release regarding the development, the cellco noted that the wind-powered and solar-powered mast will provide 4G connectivity to the Welsh village of Eglwyswrw in Pembrokeshire as part of two-year trial being undertaken in partnership with wind turbine technology specialists Crossflow Energy and mobile infrastructure partner Cornerstone. The MNO has said it expects the data gathered from the trial to help it optimise the technology and determine which sites are most suitable for ‘self-powering’ masts.
According to Vodafone UK, the specially designed mast potentially removes the need for a connection to the national electricity grid and could enable it to provide connectivity to ‘not-spots’ in the UK’s most remote and inaccessible locations. Further, the cellco has suggested that the deployment of similar infrastructure in the future will help it reduce carbon emissions and support its target of reaching net zero UK operations by 2027.
Commenting, Vodafone UK’s Chief Network Officer and Development Director, said: ‘Connectivity is vital to everyone, no matter where you live. This self-powering mobile phone mast, with on-site battery storage, could help us connect places that were previously impossible to reach. It will also help us reduce carbon emissions and minimise our impact on local environments … If this trial is a success, we would like to roll out more ‘self-powering’ masts, with a focus on areas with poor or no coverage.’