Sumanta Kumar Ray, Acting CEO, Pan African Towers

The Acting CEO of Pan African Towers, Sumanta Kumar Ray has said that Pan African Towers has been able to achieve almost 100% power availability to serve its customers better since deploying the ESCO model. Ray made this statement today Thursday October 7, while entertaining questions at the 2021 TowerXchange Meetup Africa conference, as he led the Pan African Towers team in a virtual Questions and Answers session. The PAT Chief disclosed that Pan African Towers was partnering with some Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to deploy the ESCO model which has since seen sites being powered by renewable energy achieve about 24hours power availability. He said with this availability of power, the company is able to provide high quality network services to its customers.

Ray also mentioned that Pan African Towers is also exploring the use of Supercapacitors with solar panels to generate power for its sites as this technology has proven to be quite successful in helping the company in its plan to generate adequate energy to power its sites. The Acting Chief Executive stated that Pan African Towers is very much towing the line of sustainability and hence will be supporting initiatives like solar solutions, hydrogen fuel and on-grid solutions that can help the company reduce the use of fossil fuels thereby achieving carbon emission reduction by at least 15%.

Ray said that Pan African Towers is getting ready for 5G and as such will be looking at using street furniture for its deployment. He said the company will be focused on deploying business models that can help it reduce CAPEX while rolling out sites. Karo Akaba, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Director of the company added that Pan African Towers deploys hybrid solutions in generating power for its sites. Akaba said that even though grid is a challenge in Nigeria, where there is availability of grid, the company makes use of it. She also buttressed the company’s use of both the OPEX and ESCO models of partnering with ESCOs to generate renewable energy to power PAT sites.

When asked whether PAT is looking at AI based solutions for power management, the Acting CEO stated that Pan African Towers was open to integrating newer technologies like AI based solutions in its sites. Ray disclosed that PAT integrates all its sites with telemetry to monitor the power performance of its sites. He stated that Pan African Towers is open to exploring any new technology that can help the company to serve its customers better and so the company will be exploring AI based solutions for its power management, contract review as well as security of its sites. The PAT head said PAT will be looking at applications that are suitable and sustainable especially for its rural sites.