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Intelligent Energy inks major deal to power up India’s telecoms network

According to reports, British fuel cell developer Intelligent Energy has signed a second major deal that aims to bring clean and reliable power to India’s fast expanding mobile phone network.

The UK-based company yesterday confirmed a 15-year deal to provide its stationary hydrogen-powered fuel cells as back-up power support for Microqual’s mobile network and wireless broadband base stations.

The fuel cells will be installed as a clean, efficient and low cost alternative to the diesel generators that are commonly used to power India’s network of over 425,000 mobile phone towers.

Precise details on the financial size of the deal and the number of mobile phone towers that will see new fuel cell technology installed were not disclosed.

However, Intelligent Energy said a telecommunications company in India can typically expect to spend around 462,506 Indian Rupees (£4,600) on power and fuel per site each year. Microqual has exclusive rights to 85,000 towers across the country.

The deal comes hot on the heels of a similar agreement with India’s Ascend Telecom Infrastructure, earlier this year, which also provides mobile network infrastructure to mobile operators across India.

Henri Winand, chief executive of Intelligent Energy, said the agreement would help expand the Indian telecom market in a fast and efficient way.

“This agreement… uses a cost-effective solution of adding mobile telecoms infrastructure to existing electricity transmission towers in order to address some of India’s infrastructure challenges, enabling mobile connectivity in even some of the remotest areas of the country,” he said.

“It builds on our work powering India’s mobile telecommunications industry, and will utilise our proprietary fuel cell technology and proven business approach.”

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