From Africa’s biggest cities to its most remote towns, a mobile revolution is underway. Across the continent, mobile subscribers number more than a billion, and subscriptions in the sub-Saharan region are expected to grow faster by 2022 than anywhere else on Earth. Mobile phones are being used widely to send and receive money, which has been an important enabler of innovation and development. Now, owners of small businesses can earn income without traveling long distances to receive payment. Individuals who have never used traditional banks can use their phones to access products like savings accounts and loans.
The growth of mobile services depends on reliable telecommunications networks, which need energy to stay up and running. As fourth-generation (4G) networks expand, they are increasingly being powered by Cat® generator sets. Caterpillar now offers hybrid solutions for telecom applications that include not only gensets, but also solutions for solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, long-life batteries and highly efficient power electronics. Hybrids are particularly well-suited for applications in remote areas where electric utility service does not exist. They lower cost of ownership by requiring less fuel, and have minimal needs for maintenance and parts replacement.