Frankfurt, Germany: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance released “Green Future Networks: Network Energy Efficiency,” a publication that focuses on the best ways to reduce the energy consumption of mobile networks, a key concern of mobile network operators. (ORM) and an important step towards greener networks. In its publication, NGMN explores the various existing and future power saving features and their potential when deployed in networks – among others, the use of automatic wake / sleep modes, virtualization technology and use of efficient power amplifiers combined with Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO).
Key aspects include:
- application of energy efficiency techniques to the three levels of operation of the next generation network – the base station equipment level, the site level and the network level
- the importance of leveraging the spectral efficiency of the 5G air interface and its more advanced standby modes
- importance of deploying sleep mode functions that shut down the equipment when the load is low (path to zero watt at zero load)
- use of renewable energies for on-grid and off-grid sites, smart batteries, low energy consumption power supplies
- free and liquid cooling solutions in technical sites
- flexible cooperation between 5G and LTE
- positive effects of massive MIMO solutions in 5G
- benefits of virtualization technology for energy efficiency of mobile networks
- advantages of energy saving solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) and what it takes to create such algorithms
Laurent Leboucher, SVP Orange Innovation Networks, Orange declares: “Tomorrow, networks will be greener by design! Today, Orange is already striving to save energy consumption and reduce the carbon footprint of its networks, by constantly making progress, through its research efforts and operational deployments. However, this must be an industry initiative and this is where the NGMN Alliance plays a strategic role in unifying the industry. With our knowledge and experience in this area, Orange is delighted to co-lead NGMN’s Green Future Networks project. As an industry, on the whole, with the right technologies and skills, we will be able to meet our “green” commitments.
Anita Döhler, CEO of the NGMN Alliance, said: “To continue improving the energy performance as well as reducing the energy consumption of global networks, suppliers and operators are encouraged to place a strong emphasis on the solutions identified by our Green Future Networks project. The path to zero watt at zero load for future generations of networks must be pursued, in particular, given the use of AI techniques to intelligently coordinate and optimize more precise decisions for the activation and deactivation of functions. standby and shutdown mode, as well as network sizing on demand.
The publication also discusses server virtualization technology that enables optimal scheduling of hardware workloads, such as consolidating workloads across fewer processors for energy efficiency. With virtualization technology, multiple applications and workloads can be run on a single server, increasing energy efficiency. This allows multiple network workloads to run in virtual machines (VMs) or containers, allowing efficient use of common server resources.
Despite the fact that operators are already making greater use of the energy saving features, forecasts indicate a significant increase in energy consumption over the next two years due to a considerable increase in traffic in a wide range of use cases, new technologies and frequencies, a lot of connections, and network densification. Here, AI could play an important role. By predicting and learning traffic behavior, AI algorithms define the on / off of standby functionality and site power management without affecting overall performance, including quality of experience (QoE). AI is still in its early stages and more development and research is needed to reach its full potential. AI-based energy saving solutions can dramatically increase the energy performance of cellular networks.
The NGMN Alliance stresses the importance for all providers and operators to continue to implement and activate advanced energy saving features supported by the 5G standard. As a next step, NGMN will explore other opportunities in Phase 2 of its Green Future Networks project. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the NGMN office for more information and how to join the Alliance.
This publication is the third deliverable of the NGMN Green Future Networks project after two publications in July 2021. The first, “Sustainability challenges and initiatives in mobile networks”, introduces the topic of sustainability in mobile networks and provides the context of this vast and complex subject. , the second “Eco-design of network equipment and end-to-end service footprint” provides an overview of existing approaches and visions for the eco-design of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) network equipment ). The next post in this context will be released later this month and will focus on ‘Measuring for sustainable networks’.