5G network deployment: How a holistic approach to deployment can keep energy usage and costs down

Ericsson has solutions for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to help manage usage across network deployments, breaking the mobile network energy consumption curve.

The deployment of each new generation of mobile broadband has historically come with an increase in energy usage. However, from 2011 to 2021 data traffic has increased by a factor of 287 while mobile network energy consumption has only increased by a factor of 1.6. This indicates there is strong correlation between increased network energy consumption and the deployment of additional hardware and frequency bands, rather than data consumption.

Canadian communication service providers (CSPs) are facing increasing pressure from governing bodies and consumers to meet sustainability goals while rolling out the latest generation in 5G, which will boost the economy and digitize industries. The Canadian government has set a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, and introduced the ‘2030 Emissions Reduction Plan,’ targeting the reduction of emissions by 40-45 percent over the next eight years. The mobile industry is setting goals – according to the GSMA, 80 percent of the industry (by revenue) currently disclose their climate impact and 65 percent have committed to science-based carbon reduction targets. Thirty-six percent of the industry by revenue are aligned to the UN’s “Race to Zero” pledge.

As we deploy 5G and work towards Net Zero emissions, two urgent and concurrent actions are required: switching to renewables and deploying network energy efficiency measures.

Image credit: Ericsson

To continue meeting expectations around sustainability, it’s imperative that CSPs identify the ways they can meet traffic demand and provide robust network coverage while avoiding a drastic increase in power consumption. Simply adding renewables to the energy mix won’t be enough.

Ericsson’s ‘Breaking the Energy Curve’ report outlines the company’s approach to helping CSPs reduce energy consumption and Co2 emissions during network deployments by taking a holistic approach, looking at all aspects of the network.

There are four elements in Ericsson’s holistic approach to break the increasing energy consumption curve of mobile networks.

  • Prepare the network
  • Activate energy-saving software
  • Build 5G with precision
  • Operate site infrastructure intelligently
Image credit: Ericsson

Prepare the network

  • Modernization of mobile networks with the latest technology and replace old equipment, even in low-traffic areas.
  • Ericsson Radio System will immediately lower energy consumption by about 30% in like-for-like modernization.
  • Modernization in low-traffic areas can yield a payback period of fewer than three years of energy savings alone.

Activate energy-saving software

  • Energy-saving software that turns off radio equipment during times of low traffic demand, reducing overall power consumption.
  • Machine learning (ML) technology can be utilized to bring further savings, analyzing energy use in real-time and providing important insights for service providers to understand, diagnose and identify opportunities to improve network energy performance.
  • Ericsson’s Micro Sleep Tx (MSTx) and Low Energy Scheduler Solution (LESS) can reduce radio equipment energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
Image credit: Ericsson

Build 5G with precision

  • Creating a network with the optimal radio solution for every site type will avoid over-dimensioning hardware, resulting in unnecessary CAPEX and OPEX.
  • Stabilize the 5G rollout without tacking on heavy energy-consuming hardware.
  • Ericsson’s Self-Organizing Network Optimization Manager (SON) can maintain end-user experience while optimizing energy performance, providing almost 20 percent better distribution of traffic load in a network.
  • Unique solutions include Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core (5GC), Ericsson Radio System (ERS) and Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (ESS), providing CSPs with better flexibility in deploying 5G.
Image credit: Ericsson

Operate site infrastructure intelligently

  • Utilize Artificial Intelligence to operate site infrastructure efficiently.
  • Service providers have reduced site energy consumption by up to 15 percent through the use of intelligent site control solutions.
  • Ericsson’s portfolio offers tools to control passive equipment as well as predictive maintenance and no-touch problem-solving.
  • Can be used to reduce overall costs, site usage, and site visits.

Read the ‘Breaking the Energy Curve’ report to learn more about how CSPs can reduce energy consumption and meet sustainability goals while deploying the latest 5G networks.

Header image credit: Shutterstock

This story is sponsored by Ericsson. MobileSyrup publishes sponsored posts. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

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