Nokia Siemens has made its first move into greener networking gear with the announcement of an energy-efficient mobile equipment package.

It includes software that can reduce base station energy usage by setting some components to enter a power-saving mode at night, when traffic dramatically decreases.

Another feature changes the minimum temperature requirement for a base station. While base stations are typically stored indoors where the air is cooled to around 25 degrees Celsius, Nokia Siemens found that increasing the temperature to closer to 40 degrees Celsius can reduce energy consumption by as much as 30 percent.

Nokia Siemens' energy-efficient package also includes network-planning tools that can allow operators to use fewer base stations, which would also save on energy costs.

The company plans to reduce the energy consumption of its base stations from 800 watts for GSM today to 650W and from 500W for WCDMA to 300W by 2010.

The energy-savings initiative is the first of others to come from the company, which said that it is committed to improving the environmental impact of telecommunications infrastructure.

The move is better for the environment but also saves money for operators, Nokia Siemens said.

In addition, lower energy use can make telecommunication infrastructure more attractive in emerging markets without an extensive electric grid. Nokia Siemens isn't alone in targeting these regions. For example, Motorola earlier this year said it would test sun and wind-powered base stations in Namibia. Siemens, before its merger with Nokia, supplied solar-powered base stations in Malawi.