green power

Harnessing the Full Potential of Mobile for Off-Grid Energy

Posted by EKStallings on Jan 13, 2012
Harnessing the Full Potential of Mobile for Off-Grid Energy data sheet 1959 Views
Roach, Mary, Charlotte Ward
Publication Date: 
Dec 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Over 1.4 billion people lack access to electricity. In many emerging markets mobile network operators have become adept at generating their own off-grid power as mobile penetration has outpaced the growth of the electricity grid. Community Power from Mobile (CPM) works to leverage the scale of mobile technology and infrastructure to improve the case for off-grid telecoms and provide millions of underserved communities access to vital energy services.


Through sharing knowledge gained from our work we hope to provide insights to our members and increase the conversations and collaborations we are having with organisations interested in how the advancement of the mobile sector can be best leveraged to develop the off-grid energy market. As we look to the future, we hope to build on the foundations of the programme to develop increasingly impactful workstreams and interventions.


It follows that our analysis is organised into three sections:

■ Lessons from our first year of operations

■ Recommendations to increase the likelihood of CPM

■ Engagement model to move the CPM concept forward.

The paper ends with three in-depth case studies of community power from mobile in Bangladesh, India, and Kenya.


Green Power for Mobile: Charging Choices

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 26, 2009
Green Power for Mobile: Charging Choices data sheet 3134 Views
GSMA Development Fund
Publication Date: 
Oct 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

There are more than 4 billion mobile connections worldwide. Over the coming years, many more millions of people at the “base of the economic pyramid” are expected to acquire mobile phones, greatly benefiting their lives, business activities and access to information. However, most of these new subscribers will not have direct access to electricity. This makes it more challenging and expensive for them to charge their mobile phone, not to mention to power the myriad of other daily functions for which electricity is important such as lighting, cooking and refrigeration.

The GSMA Development Fund believes that the issue of electrification is extremely relevant to mobile operators. The innovative nature of base of the pyramid markets has spawned creative solutions to the charging problem - primarily via entrepreneurs who provide electricity on a per-charge basis, powered either by their own access to the grid or through the use of portable car batteries.  It seems likely that renewable energy devices, such as photovoltaic chargers, will provide a practical and environmentally friendly fix. 

As part of its Green Power for Mobile programme, the Development Fund has conducted research into off- grid charging solutions for mobile phones. This study was conducted over a three month period (June-August, 2009) and included extensive research to identify emerging vendors, their products, and other players in the field. The process also included dozens of interviews and surveys of mobile operators and vendors covering 50 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The research has found that there is significant interest in off-grid charging solutions from mobile operators - over half those interviewed have already introduced, or are considering introducing off-grid charging solutions in the near term. At the same time, there is only limited understanding about the full scope of options and the associated social and business benefits.

This publication is intended to provide initial market information and a framework for decision-making about off-grid charging solutions. More practically, it lays out a series of key questions that the GSMA refers to as “Charging Choices” - to help companies think through the possibilities for off-grid charging. The paper is not a fully exhaustive review of all the existing players or initiatives in the market, and the Development Fund is not endorsing the products or companies reviewed herein. This publication is, however, a start of what the GSMA believes will be an important and exciting area of industry growth in the coming years.