This blog is by Volker Held, head of Industry Landscape at Nokia Solutions and Networks.
Whether you’re a consumer running a household, or a firm running a business, energy bills only ever seem to head one way – north. Not only are energy prices rising, but mobile broadband operators face other pressures (albeit positive ones for their business): growing traffic volumes and more subscribers. As mobile broadband traffic balloons, coverage and capacity are extended – and networks use more energy.
The largest network operators have seen rises of 15-35% in their network energy consumption and it’s thought that cellular networks account for 0.5%* of the world’s electrical energy consumption. Taking accelerating traffic and capacity extension into account, the issue will only become more acute. Doing nothing is not an option.
It’s time to put a halt to rising network energy costs!
Solving the energy efficiency challenge is a puzzle involving many pieces. So NSN has devised a five-point approach to help operators navigate their way through the maze and keep network energy consumption flat, or even reduce it:
• Base station efficiency – more efficient baseband processing and high-performance radio front-end amplifiers will boost energy efficiency
• Site-level optimization – high-efficiency power supplies, renewable energy, shelter-less and fan-less installations
• Network architecture evolution – improved resource utilization and capacity increase (multi-radio, densification, beamforming, distributed base stations)
• Network management and control – teaching networks to be energy-aware with advanced dormancy concepts
• Network modernization – modernize at the right time to achieve optimum CAPEX and OPEX; the phase-out of legacy technologies can be justified by energy savings alone
With this five-level approach, NSN believes that keeping absolute network energy consumption essentially flat over the coming years, despite significant traffic growth, is a challenging but achievable goal.
We had a webinar recently to explain in more detail the technologies and thinking behind this approach.
Click here to hear NSN’s Heiko Straulino, Head of Technology Visioning, describe our five-point strategy for flattening network energy consumption.
We have more innovative thinking to share here.
* Fettweis & E. Zimmermann, “ICT energy consumption – trends and challenges,” 11th International Symposium on Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications, Lapland, Finland, September 2008.