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Zero-emission mobile networks

Minimizing carbon emissions, electricity consumption and costs

Minimizing product life cycle carbon emissions

Throughout the radio network product lifecycle, ~97% of CO2 emissions are born in the product use stage and ~3% in the manufacturing, transportation, and end-of-life stages.

We aim to reduce carbon emissions in all stages of the life cycle. We constantly innovate and develop market-leading energy efficiency solutions that minimize the use-stage electricity consumption and cost of used electricity.

It is also important to factor in the carbon intensity of the used energy. For example, in Finland, the use-stage carbon emissions are already zero because all mobile radio networks are run by using zero-carbon grid power. Decarbonization of energy sources is one of the key elements in reaching global net-zero targets.

At the end of the product life cycle, we are reducing the emissions embodied in the products with numerous Nokia-driven actions. Those include using increasingly carbon-free electricity in manufacturing, increasing the share of recycled materials in products and packaging, increasing the share of transportation with carbon-neutral fuels, maximizing the product takeback and minimizing land-fill, and increasing the portfolio of refurbished products.

Nokia Circularity

Market-leading energy efficiency solutions

About 80 percent of a mobile network’s energy is consumed by base station sites, and operators are reporting double-digit growth in mobile network energy usage. As the difference between the traffic peaks and zero traffic conditions increases, there is a growing need for intelligent energy management to minimize energy consumption in all traffic conditions and to keep the growing energy costs under control. We continuously improve the energy-saving features in our radio network products and develop innovations for reducing energy consumption and the cost of energy for operators.

Nokia AirScale base station evolution to minimize energy consumption in all traffic conditions

About 80 percent of the electricity consumed by a base station is consumed by radio units, and about 20 percent by baseband. Our radio and baseband portfolio ensures an optimum product fit to match the capacity and coverage needs of all deployment scenarios, which in turn minimizes the consumed energy across all types of sites. Our portfolio covers single-band and multiband small cell radios, high-power Remote Radio Heads, and Massive MIMO radios as well as baseband solutions for any deployment from single-cell sites to large baseband hotels.

We are developing both software and hardware architectures to minimize power consumption in all traffic conditions. For example, the latest Nokia ReefShark System-on-Chip (SoC) minimizes the electricity consumption of our radio units in low and medium traffic conditions. We use the latest commercially available Power Amplifier technologies and materials, such as gallium nitride, which reduces power consumption especially in high-traffic conditions. In addition, we focus on mechanisms for muting the resources in both radio units and baseband products in finer and finer granularity and with faster and faster activation and de-activation times to ensure that the network quality is maximized in all traffic conditions.


Zero traffic zero energy radio solution

The site configurations are becoming increasingly complex to meet the requirements of ever-increasing traffic load, accommodate new frequency band options, and overcome the shortage of new site locations in urban environments. When there is no traffic in the cell site, there is an increasing need to switch of resources.  

We have developed several product enhancements that reflect our commitment to extreme energy efficiency. Those include the Extreme Deep Sleep cell switch-off mode, which leverages software in Nokia AirScale Habrok Massive MIMO radio units, which reduces energy consumption by up to 97 percent compared to a cell on air but without traffic, and the unique Zero traffic, zero energy solution that switches off all radio resources when there is zero traffic. 

In latest baseband generation, we have introduced adaptive baseband power savings based on the latest ReefShark SoC technology. This enables up to 50 percent energy savings in zero load conditions compared to the existing baseband generation.

The energy efficiency of the radio network software solutions can be further enhanced with Nokia’s MantaRay Energy solution, which automates and optimizes the configuration of the energy-saving software features.

AI/ML powered Nokia MantaRay SON

The energy savings management capabilities of Nokia MantaRay SON, the Self-Organizing Networks solution, automate the configuration of energy-saving software features while ensuring that the energy optimizations performed with AI/ML have no impact on throughput and other key KPIs. MantaRay SON can optimize energy savings in multi-vendor RAN environments.  


Innovative Nokia Virtual Power Plant Controller Software

Our innovative Virtual Power Plant Controller Software enables mobile network operators to monetize the idle base station backup batteries, typically unused because the power cuts are infrequent. It enhances the stability of the electricity grid and allows operators to bid in power reserve markets, leveraging backup batteries for operating selected base station sites or selling energy back to the grid, which turns idle resources into profitable investments. 

Additionally, Virtual Power Plant supports renewable energy integration, contributing to grid reliability and the reduction of CO2 emissions. The software safely integrates batteries into the power reserve market, using machine learning algorithms to optimize power usage and backup capacity. Our technology simplifies participation in auctions, including the Fast Frequency Reserve market, and ensures rapid response and monetization of the backup battery resources.

Unique Nokia Liquid Cooling solution for baseband hotels

We have introduced a new Liquid-Cooled baseband hotel site solution, which enables up to 90 percent energy savings in baseband hotel cooling systems compared to active air cooling. It also enables up to 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions when the waste heat is used for other purposes like building heating. 

Nokia liquid cooled AirScale portfolio

Nokia Wavence microwave transport solutions for energy efficiency

With the increasing demand for broadband connectivity in any location, operators need to build more backhaul capacity. Microwave transport solutions are scalable and quick to deploy also in areas where fiber networks are not a feasible alternative. 

Nokia Wavence microwave products are optimized for energy efficiency. They include features such as simplified site solution, transceiver muting and deep sleep mode that help save energy based on traffic load. In addition, the embedded power metering function helps further optimize energy consumption.

Digital network design for enhancing energy efficiency

Many operators design their entire network based on using the same power setting on all cells of a network layer, spectrum band or carrier. In addition to the energy savings enabled by our latest hardware technology, software features and SON optimizations, we can address the peak hour power consumption through network design, reducing the energy consumption by 10 – 20 percent depending on the network.

Our Digital Design approach to enhancing energy efficiency considers each individual cell in the network with respect to interference, load, and beam-set configuration. We optimize cell configuration, which enables overall lower transmit power and helps reduce both the CO2 footprint and the energy bill – without compromising network performance and end-user experience. The additional benefit of this approach is that it requires no large-scale deployments or architecture re-design, and has no hardware impact.

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