Climate-friendly calls? That’s possible! Find out how the German mobile communications provider WEtell wants to make the market more sustainable.
Like fairafric, WEtell wants to revolutionize an already existing market. Rather than chocolate and a fair trade approach, WEtell wants to revolutionize the market for mobile communications and data protection. The following article is all about sustainable mobile communications and the impact that sustainable communications’ could have on the environment. In an interview with Nico, one of the founders of WEtell, we will learn more about their goals and introduce you to the company.
The market for sustainable communications is huge!
3,200,000,000. In words: 3.2 billion. That’s how many people owned a smartphone in 2019, according to this resource. If just half of these people switched to a sustainable mobile provider, carbon emissions could be drastically reduced. So we can all do something about climate change – together!
Fortunately, there are more and more people who also want to make a statement for sustainability and future-oriented business in the smartphones and communications sector. This assumption is clearly confirmed by more and more sustainable cell phone providers as well as tariff providers such as WEtell.
How much energy does my mobile phone use actually consume? The answer is: a lot! For example, one hour of video streaming on the 3G network (at HD quality) generates 90 grams of carbon emissions. That’s almost as much as an electric car emits per kilometer. In today’s world, smartphones and their features are indispensable. If you don’t want to live without the high-end devices, you should at least do something to keep your carbon footprint as low as possible.
This is where WEtell comes in. But what makes a mobile provider generally sustainable? For example, the use of renewable energies such as solar power. You can read more about this in our interview with Nico, one of the founders of WEtell.
Mobile communications can also be sustainable!
In the general perception of society, mainstream mobile operators are not necessarily known for sustainable approaches and green business practices. However, the urgency of climate protection is also causing change in this industry: In 2018, Andreas Schmucker, Alma Spribille and Nico Tucher co-founded WEtell. Their vision is to make climate protection, data privacy, as well as fairness and transparency mainstream in the mobile communications’ industry.
As many of you already know, fairafric has been using solar energy since opening its own chocolate factory. This is a value that WEtell also shares, which is why the young company has set itself the task of building solar systems throughout Germany in cooperation with its partners. Since 2020, more than 1000 solar systems have been put into operation!
The topic of data protection is generally a sensitive one, which plays a particularly important role in the mobile communications’ industry (learn more about it here). One of WEtell’s most important principles is data protection and thus collecting as little data as possible from its customers. The short storage period of the personal data is also to be emphasized here, since WEtell does not follow the legal maximum, but the minimum. This means that your data is only stored as long as it is legally necessary. The fact that WEtell encrypts all customer data and promises not to analyze the data again shows how seriously they take data protection.
Smartphones are everywhere, which is why sustainable thinking in the field of mobile communications reflects the Zeitgeist.
A short interview with the founders
In order to provide you with more information about WEtell and sustainable calls, we decided to make a short interview with Nico Tucher, one of the founders of WEtell.
Nico Tucher is one of the three people who founded WEtell and wants to establish sustainable telecommunications.
Q: How did you come up with this idea?
Nico: In 2008, Andi realized that there was no effecitve sustainable provider in mobile communications. He was in the process of changing his life as much as possible
by buying sustainable services, food, clothes, Fairphone,… but he didn’t find a provider that matched his values.
Ten years later, the topic came up again and in the meantime, Alma and Nico were part of the team that immediately started researching. The result was that something was possible – actually quite a lot: mobile communications can also be sustainable!
Q: What do you mean by a sustainable mobile communications provider?
Nico: Mobile communications is a digital service and those all require electricity. Not primarily for charging cell phones, but mainly for supplying the mobile phone masts and data centers in the background. Hardly anyone knows that this causes more emissions than the production of the end device and charging. And you have no influence on that. You can get green electricity at home, but is there a mobile communications provider that is completely climate-neutral? Well, there certainly is now.
And if we’re already setting up a mobile provider, why shouldn’t we also take care of other issues that are important to us? So we added data protection, fairness & transparency. These are all wide-ranging areas, so here are a few examples: In data protection, we collect as little data as possible, e.g. tracking only anonymously and independently of Google tools. Sounds trivial, but hardly anyone else does it. With mobile data, we want to go to the legal minimum in terms of storage duration, i.e. store as little as possible instead of as much as possible. In any case, WEtell should be at least one provider that is pushing this issue with determination.
And everyone can probably tell a story about fairness and transparency in mobile communications. In any case, we only offer month-to-month contract cancellation plans, because we don’t believe in everlasting contract terms. Furthermore, our entire service team is based in Freiburg, we provide a phone number on our homepage, and you can reach a person there directly. The feedback from customers is almost always great. Where else can you find that? At WEtell, that’s where.
Q: What is your vision?
Nico: We want to extend the triumph of fair and sustainable products and services into the next industry. There are many examples already – banking, mailing and, of course, chocolate. No one expects this from mobile communications, and the competition on the market is also huge. It’s all about the cheapest offer. Of course, we can’t offer that. We are value-oriented instead of maximizing profit. And it is precisely on this foundation that we aim to be successful. Other providers will then hopefully follow the lead and take an example from us. Step by step, we want to move the entire industry in the direction of sustainability. And every person who chooses WEtell brings us closer to this vision. There are already well over 2000 of them, even though we have only been on the market since July 2020. And since almost all of them experience that switching is not that complicated, and they then become part of WEtell, many also tell their friends and relatives about us directly. So every day there are more and more of us, and we can represent our vision better and better.
Q: What can I do in my everyday life to promote sustainability?
Nico: Fortunately, a lot nowadays – and for most things it’s not that complicated. Choosing an ethical bank, buying green electricity, buying proper food and clothing: Sure, it’s a bit of extra work in some cases, but compared to the good feeling of helping to make the world a better place, it’s worth it!
As you have noticed, there is a lot that can be done for sustainability in the sector of mobile communication.
The fact that fairafric believes in the implementation and vision of WEtell and establishes sustainability in all areas of our business activities is also reflected in our office: The entire team makes sustainable phone calls with WEtell.Thus, every customer consultation, every order or any other phone conversation is made with a tariff from WEtell and is therefore sustainable and fair.