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Solar Projects Provide Off-Grid Telecom Solution

In another example of solar energy providing crucial power for use miles from grid electricity, Finland-based Naps Systems was chosen to deliver twenty-two autonomous solar electricity systems to Siemens for Uganda Telecom’s cellular network extension project. The network of solar arrays will open up cellular phone and television service for millions of users in Uganda.

Bugiri, Uganda – June 25, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The cellular extension project is part of the Northern Uganda reconstruction program, and is financed by Nordic Development Fund (NDF). The Northern Uganda Reconstruction Program is a part of the Government of Uganda’s efforts to ensure that the Northern part of the country is able to catch up with the rest of the country’s development agenda and programs. The Program has a telecommunications component, and Uganda Telecom together with NDF awarded the contract of this component to Siemens mobile Networks, Nordic and Baltics. The contract includes turnkey supply, installation and commissioning of SDH and PDH microwave solutions including planning, civil works, power supply, MUX and switching. The telecom network is based on SDH and PDH microwave spurs transmitting TV, speech and data signals from Bugiri at the lake of Victoria, up to Gulu and Arua in the northern part of Uganda. Due to lack of electrical power in the area, the use of solar modules as power supply was required. Furthermore, the technical and operational requirements to the solar electricity system itself were especially high, due to the changing weather conditions. The delivery from Naps includes 1216 units of 100 W solar modules, 22 heavy-duty charge controllers, and battery banks totalling 24.900 Ah. These telecom stations will run completely on decentralized solar power systems supplied by Naps. The solar electricity systems power all components on the relevant microwave sites. When operational by the end of 2004, the telecom network will provide phone and TV service to the major cities in the northern Uganda.