Research conducted by Nokia and Telefónica has found that 5G networks are up to 90 percent more energy-efficient than 4G.
The study was conducted over three months and examined the power consumption of Telefónica’s 5G RAN (Radio Access Network).
Juan Manuel Caro, Director of Operational Transformation at Global CTIO at Telefónica, said:
“We are committed to supporting action on climate change and engender a sustainable culture throughout our entire company.
We are proud to work collaboratively with Nokia on this project and others to address a range of initiatives including driving energy efficiencies in the 5G era.”
With 5G expected to bring massive traffic increases; it’s vital that power consumption is kept to a minimum.
Telefónica’s 5G RAN uses Nokia’s AirScale portfolio, including AirScale Base Stations and AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna solutions. Energy consumption readings were taken in traffic load scenarios ranging from 0-100 percent.
Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented:
“Our greatest contribution to overcoming the world’s sustainability challenges is through the solutions and technology we develop and provide. We place huge importance on this. Nokia’s technology is designed to be energy efficient during use but also require less energy during manufacture.
This important study highlights how mobile operators can offset energy gains during their rollouts helping them to be more environmentally responsible while allowing them to achieve significant cost savings.”
5G delivers more data per kilowatt than legacy networks, but this efficiency can be enhanced further at the radio base station and network levels—such as through small cell deployments and new 5G architecture and protocols.
The companies say they are committed to helping achieve the ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Nokia says it delivered zero-emission products to over 150 customers worldwide and is committed to decreasing emissions from its operations by 41 percent by 2030. On average, the base stations modernised by Nokia in 2019 benefitted from 46 percent less energy-consumption, on average.
Nokia and Telefónica are exploring how machine learning and artificial intelligence can be utilised to further improve power saving—in addition to developing smart energy infrastructure.
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