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Vodafone (VOD) Tests Eco-Friendly Mobile Phone Masts in UK

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In a concerted effort to reduce harmful emissions and achieve net-zero in the U.K. by 2027, Vodafone Group Plc (VOD - Free Report) is conducting trials for eco-friendly self-powered mobile phone towers across the country. If the test results are conducive and economically viable, the company will deploy the phone masts even in the most remote locations without requiring them to be connected to the electricity grid.

The “Eco-Towers” run on renewable energy sources like wind and solar power for self-powered battery operations and eliminate the dependencies on diesel generators for backup power. Vodafone has been working in unison with Crossflow Energy Company to develop these phone towers, leveraging the latter’s know-how to maximize renewable energy from a combination of wind, solar and battery storage solutions. The trials are being conducted in association with Cornerstone – a leading U.K.-based mobile infrastructure services company.

While the eco-friendly phone mast improves the security with on-site power generation, it also helps cut costs through remote monitoring by radio engineers and network design teams. This, in turn, can effectively speed up the network deployment and reduce carbon footprint. Vodafone has pledged to halve its emissions in its supply chain by 2030 across 21 countries before reaching net-zero across its full value chain by 2040.

With a diverse and open ecosystem, Vodafone aims to develop a more cost-effective, secure, energy-efficient and customer-focused network by using components from different suppliers that adhere to a common set of standards. This, in turn, is likely to facilitate the carrier to release new features simultaneously across multiple sites while adding capacity and resolving outages at a faster pace.

As the 5G ecosystem evolves with increased deployment across the globe, it is likely to offer a plethora of opportunities for diverse industries. The coronavirus outbreak has further highlighted the need for high-speed, high-bandwidth and low-latency connections — the hallmarks of the 5G network — for digital sustainability in the backdrop of social distancing and work-from-home trends.

Vodafone is focusing on rolling out superfast 5G technology throughout the U.K. It has inked an agreement with Openreach, the digital networking business unit of BT Group Plc, to extend its broadband coverage in the country. The deal enabled Vodafone to offer its Gigafast Broadband service to three new cities in the U.K., namely Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool, through Openreach’s Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network.

The FTTP network of Openreach is one of the most extensive broadband networks in the U.K. It is expected to provide Vodafone with unrivaled coverage to promote its services and thereby augment the subscriber base.

The stock has lost 9.1% over the past year while the industry has declined 10.5%. We remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

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A better-ranked stock in the broader industry is Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Clearfield delivered an earnings surprise of 50.8%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates for the current year for the stock have moved up 19.4% in the past 60 days. Over the past year, Clearfield has gained a stellar 182.5%.

Sierra Wireless, Inc. (SWIR - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank #2. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12.5% and delivered an earnings surprise of 34.2%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Over the past year, Sierra Wireless has gained 17.7%. The company continues to launch innovative products for business-critical operations that require high security and optimum 5G performance.

Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2, is another solid pick for investors. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 17.5% and delivered an earnings surprise of 11.2%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Earnings estimates for the current year for the stock have moved up 15% in the past 90 days. Qualcomm is likely to benefit in the long run from a solid 5G traction and a surge in demand for essential products that are the building blocks for digital transformation in the cloud economy.