At the time of writing, almost 24 million people in Myanmar use Telenor’s network. Behind the calls, posts, streams, uploads, downloads and video meetings is a complex network of base stations whirring away, providing the essential foundation to connect these millions of digital lives. That takes energy. Lots of energy.
Explaining and understanding the nature of a tower network is a lecture for another day. For the sake of this story, though, all you need to know is that, until recently, Telenor’s network in Myanmar has been dependent on two sources of energy: the national electricity grid and diesel generators. While the grid can sometimes struggle to reach more rural areas of Myanmar’s famously beautiful, tropical landscape, it’s also the case that, environmentally speaking, diesel generators are less than optimal sources of energy.
Some people might be daunted by the challenge of re-imagining the energy sourcing of a high-speed, reliable network that serves 24 million customers, but Raihan and his colleagues are not some people.