The mobile telecom industry has pledged to become net-zero by 2050, and 5G specifications call for a 90% drop in energy use (per unit of data transmitted) compared to 4G.

Ninety percent is a significant objective and we as architects in safety and intelligence have to put that into the right perspective.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry currently accounts for approximately 4% of the world’s electricity consumption. With the upcoming rollout of 5G networks, electricity consumption is projected to increase to potentially exceed 20% by 2030.

Building green networks is a key aspect of achieving sustainability in the telecom industry whilst meeting the objectives set by the major Telecom Operators. With the advent of 5G technology, the need for energy-efficient networks has become even more pressing. While 5G has a 90% (source 1) more energy-efficient per gigabyte, it is projected to increase data usage by 400%. Due to 5G’s higher speed, more devices, and bandwidth this will result in a significantly higher energy consumption.

Source 1

Study: 5G Has 90% Better Energy Efficiency Than 4G

To lower the carbon footprint the industries are looking for the following methods:

  • Improve Energy efficiency.
  • Renewable energy
  • Optimise network design.
  • Energy efficiency KPIs as part of the 3GPP specification to drive innovation and out-of-box thinking.
  • Improved installation and test processes to identify and eliminate wasteful sources of signal loss, RF interference, and overlapping cell coverage.
  • Intelligent and dynamic control of the RAN and Core to selectively power down or reconfigure underutilized resources and reduce waste.

The challenge

The major challenge is that the current Telecom systems are set up and designed to deliver the maximum speed as promised to their customers. For many years that was the key differentiator for customers in their telecom operator selection.

Introducing 5G on a large scale will not be done overnight. Decommissioning the old network is also estimated to take many years. Therefore, the only practical way that remains is to improve the energy consumption of the current network and in the meantime implement measures to reduce the aforementioned consumption of energy.

That means utilizing existing energy optimizations responsibly and being innovative when it comes to applying 5G alike energy optimizations on older technology networks.

LIMA Network Protect Energy

LIMA is a network management solution integrated within the customer’s mobile core network.

  • It supports the ETSI specifications and can enable energy efficiency optimizations cross base station and cross-vendor. The user can define different energy saving profiles and apply them to one or more locations. Instead of defining high-level energy savings, that apply to a countrywide network, the user can use Location Intelligence to finetune the profile to match a certain location. Varying from industrial areas, and shopping malls to residential areas.

LIMA integrates with the cell data systems of the telecom operator. Coverage intelligence helps to visualize and determine overlapping coverage. This can be fed back into the before-mentioned policies to ensure no negative impact on the QOS.

Methods that can be applied to the current network, Hybrid network, and the 5G network:

  • Intelligent and dynamic control of the RAN to selectively power down or reconfigure underutilized resources and reduce waste.
  • Temporarily phase out inefficient legacy 2G and 3G networks.
  • Carrier shutdown or cell shutdown
  • Cross base station or cross station energy optimization. Mixing legacy and 5G to reach a better energy optimization.

Group 2000

Group 2000 has a corporate and social responsibility to contribute to a sustainable environment for today’s and future generations. Reaching net zero in the telecom industry is a challenge that will not be achieved easily. It requires every contributor to change their mindset and think about their impact, the impact of their supplier, and what can be done to help others.  With that in mind, Group 2000 has created LIMA Energy to help customers achieve their sustainability goals. Helping our shared environment in the process.


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