Apple iPhone carriers Orange Group and Vodafone Europe claimed the second and third spots in a new evaluation of "green" operators in Europe.

Deutsche Telekom is ranked at the top of the latest Operator Matrix released by ABI Research.

The Vendor Matrix is an analytical tool developed by ABI Research to provide a clear understanding of vendors' positions in specific markets.

Vendors are assessed on the important parameters of "innovation" and "implementation" across several criteria unique to each vendor matrix.

ABI Research practice director Aditya Kaul comments: "Deutsche Telecom's leadership role and commitment to the global e-sustainability initiative, coupled with its unparalleled green R&D efforts, led it to grab the top spot.

"Orange has shown initiative in terms of measuring its own impact through innovative KPIs and internal tools, while Vodafone should be commended for its green efforts despite its size and footprint. Its also one of the few operators to state that 80 percent of its energy consumed is in the network itself."

For this particular matrix, under "innovation," ABI Research examined the operators' degree of innovation in the use of applications or other technologies for green networks; their direct or indirect impact on green innovations for the supplier value chain; their green R&D efforts; their smart grid networks and other green technology innovation, and finally, their use of innovative metrics for the measurement of carbon/energy reduction.

Under "implementation," ABI Research scrutinized the following criteria: green mobile network infrastructure; management and corporate structure as it applies to green initiatives; and the "greenness" of their IT operations.

Also evaluated: handset, battery and accessory recycling activities; teleworking and teleconferencing initiatives; green transport fleet and logistics; the operators' green handset, content, and user awareness strategy, their green buildings and facilities, and their use of green packaging.

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