Big Wins for Green Tech at the Mobile World Congress

By February 23, 2009

Samsung's Blue Earth was not the only solar powered mobile phone that was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress, last week in Barcelona, Spain. Chinese manufacturer ZTE launched its own self-charging phone on February 18th, 2009. The Coral-200-Solar (picture above) was created in cooperation with Digicel and Intivation, and should be available in June. Designed with emerging markets in mind, where grid electricity may not be near-at-hand, the integrated solar charger can fully sustain the device. Tom Bryant, Digicel Group VP Distribution Procurement comments , “Solar-powered handsets are clearly the way to meet the needs of power-challenged users across the globe," in reference to the Coral-200-Solar.

In comparison to the somewhat uninspiring candy bar design of the C200S (not to mention naming), the Samsung phone design was designed to "symbolize a flat and well rounded shiny pebble." Profiled last week by Inhabitat , the Blue Earth can gather enough power to charge itself, is made out of recycled water bottles and contains fewer toxic substances than standard mobiles - for example, brominated flame retardants, beryllium and phthalates.

The green conscience extends to light and efficient packaging of recycled paper and a 5-star energy efficient charger. While features have not been specified, there are energy-conscious settings such as screen brightness, backlight duration and energy-efficient Bluetooth mode highlighted in the release notes .

Despite these contributions, it was Nokia that won the Global System for Mobile Communications Association's first award for Outstanding Environmental Contribution at the Mobile World Congress. The award honored Nokia's consistent commitment to tackling environmental concerns with a holistic and proactive corporate ethos.

The Green Mobile Award went to Smart Communications for Alternative Power for Cell Sites Program. The program uses renewable energy sources in off-grid locations such as the Philippines, reducing the need for diesel consumption, and lowering instances of oil spills and carbon emissions.

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