Thursday, September 04, 2008

Going Green with Telecom

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The subject is not about green bucks (US Dollars) but the environment. With millions of mobile communications users being added each month to the Indian talk space, it is probably time to start to think of going GREEN now and prevent the undue effects of the toxic waste left behind by the equipment; mobile phones and ancillary devices will pose to the already fast depleting Indian resources and surroundings.

Laws
We don’t have any favorable set of laws that encourage active recycling of mobile materials across the world. Much of the waste is creating hazard in select locations in China and other parts of the world, destroying the environment. India can adopt favorable laws for encouraging a pollution free mobile industry before it gets to be one more dump the rivers and destroy them activity of Telecom waste. Favorable laws will also allow for early investors to look at funding such enterprises.

Innovations
Early awareness of the problems with Telecom waste should also encourage innovations with how to handle such waste. With millions of new phones, accessories and SIM cards along with the plastic wrapping flooding the Indian markets, it can be easily a money making profession for innovators to recycle and create Green Telecom environment.

Awareness
Nothing solves problems of the environment more than the awareness of why it is necessary. India is going through the nuclear debate. Mobile waste in the scale of hundreds of millions can be disastrous to already over populated and depleted natural resources of India. All operators and government agencies should begin encouraging clean disposal of the products for easy recycling.

Swap
The existing programs to swap old phones for new ones should be further advertised and encouraged. All phone users can be given an incentive to dispose of their old units and accessories at drop off locations or at a mobile store, and perhaps encouraged with a credit for minutes or new products. Swapping and clean disposal should be mandated, encouraged and rewarded so that the people can actually see the benefit of proper disposal.

Long Lasting
As the mobile use quite prevalent in India and people constantly speaking, the use of batteries is also quite normal. Devising long lasting batteries and proper recharge mechanisms can help with the mobile waste management. It will help save energy costs and also allow people to speak longer. Manufacturers should start investing more into longer lasting and cheaper batteries. Most of the phones sold in India are cheap and should not be made with cheap materials. Telecom operators should look at subsidizing the lower end phones for better quality and longer lasting units preventing the disposal to the minimum.

Inject the emotions of Save India
Nothing sells like human emotions in the world. We should inject the emotion of saving the precious natural resources of India into Green Telecom projects. As we would like to see our forests and rivers and natural wonders of India saved, it is also a wise ploy to make Green Telecom as an emotion into the Indian psyche. With the massive numbers involved in Telecom, emotional display of Indians to save India from this future waste disaster will be a welcome emotional involvement for the talkers and movers.

With 300 million mobiles and going to 600 million soon, this Green Telecom business can be well worth investment in. Venture capital, private equity, innovators, Reliance, Bharti, Tata and all others with deep pockets can definitely plan and benefit with funding this revolution now. India is a terrific place with all things we have now, our land, our mountains, our rivers, our forests and our people are unique and secular. Our country has already shown that investing in India communications has rewarded not only the investors but also the people who communicate, and communicate a lot. Its time to plan well in advance to go GREEN with Telecom waste and plan well to benefit from not adding Telecom as one of the polluters of our great nation as other industries have already done. India should GO GREEN with Telecom now and start adopting steps to keep taking progressive path to keep talking clean.