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AC/DC – invert your thinking on base station power

Twitter: @telecomzen

The cost of the energy needed to run the world’s data and communications networks is set to rocket from $40 billion in 2011, to $343 billion by 2025, according to Nokia Bell Labs. Wow! This staggering increase is being fuelled by the ongoing rapid growth in traffic volume.

Faced with such huge increases, it’s becoming a priority for communications service providers (CSPs) to cut their energy expenditure. But how? How can you reduce energy costs, while at the same time incorporating new technologies and maintaining top network performance?

It’s an issue we’re addressing with the new Nokia AirScale power inverter. The inverter can power AirScale base station radios more efficiently by using the AC/DC/AC-converter concept to provide AC voltage that essentially replaces the DC feed solution.

How does it save energy?


Today’s base station sites are packed with technologies, requiring the management of complex hardware. As energy demand rises, DC cables need to become thicker to carry the increased current. Not only is more site space needed and installation becomes more difficult, but copper losses increase while the distribution points in the cable create further energy waste. This all adds cost, which CSPs strive to avoid when upgrading sites.

AirScale power inverter avoids these limitations by using smaller AC cables. Installation is easier and faster given the flexibility of thin cables and energy loss in the cable is reduced due to low AC input current.

Bottom line impact


































Savings per site can be signficant:

  • Hardware savings: from power cabling costs
  • Installation savings: smaller AC cables and ancillary equipment make installation easier and faster
  • Installation savings: smaller AC cables and ancillary equipment make installation easier and faster
  • Improved flexibility for site configuration planning: supporting long run feederless sites
  • More energy efficient solution
  • Common energy solution: also applies to small cell sites (which use AC power supply directly) and potentially other future AC radios
  • Easy upgrades for existing Nokia Flexi base station hardware

Other tangible benefits include lower mast loads (wind and mass); fewer cable grooves (existing ones are typically full); losses in AC power cables are significantly lower than in DC power feed; existing backup batteries can be used; and it frees up site space for modernization.

Switching to AirScale power inverter is a substantial step towards future-proofing your network, indeed turning it into a zero emissions network for the good of your business and the planet. Talk to us for help with your energy solution requirements.

Visit our website for more on Energy Solutions and Zero Emission

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #sustainability and #energyefficiency

Manish Chandra

About Manish Chandra

Manish Chandra currently leads Mobile Network services marketing. A technology junkie at heart, he loves to read and share on telecom-related topics and, when he’s not doing that, you’ll likely find him packing for his next travel adventure.

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