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Apr 23 2019

Nokia has ambitious plans to reduce network power consumption

In a recent Earth Day blog, we laid out our ambitious environmental targets and actions to reduce our fair share of global CO2 emissions. Now we would like to explore how that translates to our finished products and services which form part of our Zero Emissions portfolio.

We estimate that mobile operators currently have over €72 billion Radio Access Network (RAN) global energy bill, and the increase is fulled by exponential growth of mobile data consumption. As an example about 90% of electricity consumed by a base station (BTS) converts to waste heat. The BTS sites need to be cooled down by air condition units which adds to base station CO2 emissions, so we really need to decouple mobile data growth from energy usage. 5G is natively greener radio access technology than any previous technology before, but the addition of 5G BTS still require actions from an environmental perspective. Fortunately for our customers, we have some effective solutions with pretty fast ROI too.

Nokia’s approach is a mix of common sense and unique features. For example, by modernizing legacy BTS’s and by sharing the resources between all radio access technologies with Single RAN software, communications service providers (CSPs) can reduce BTS energy consumption by 43% and, on average, capex of the modernization can be recouped in 2-3 years. Also, 5G is natively green technology because the specification defines many new features like Lean Carrier which can reduce energy consumption of 5G up to 50-60% compared to 4G. These are the common sense options.

CSPs can maximize their 5G investment further by using Nokia’s Future X architecture. Our in-house designed ReefShark and ETAdvanced chipsets inside Nokia AirScale BTS consumes 60% less energy compared to earlier BTS generation. We also have a range of energy efficiency software features that minimize energy consumption in all traffic condition, in fact when we sleep we put to our networks to sleep as well. Typically these features can reduce energy consumption from 10% to 20%.

Nokia has over 130 customers using energy efficiency software features and the BTS modernization programs we have undertake in the last 4 years alone have delivered a global energy saving equal to Nokia’s own annual use of electricity. This is an important part of our end to end competence and shows that we look at the broad business benefits our technology brings to our customers and their business in terms of efficiency and reducing TCO.

And there is more. We showcased one of the most recent innovative advances at #MWC19, where we introduced the world’s first liquid cooled 5G base station which can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%. Keep a look out for our next blog that looks in to more detail about our liquid cooling offer, and download our latest eBook.

Watch Pia and Harry explain on video how Nokia 5G is both cool and green. Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #earthday, #5G, #zeroemissions, #tech4climate, #sustainability.

About Harry Kuosa

Harry Kuosa is Nokia’s Head of Single RAN and Zero Emissions marketing. Harry holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering and his 30+ years telecoms experience covers most types of transmission and access networks. He is passionate about 5G and his current zero emissions role, but still makes time to enjoy skiking in the beautiful Finnish countryside.

Tweet me at @harkuo

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