In the first edition of the report for 2020, Ericsson estimated the annual global energy cost to operate mobile networks at $25 billion. With the subsequent global economic challenges, punctuated by the energy crisis and rising inflation, this number is now expected to rise.
These developments focus more on the need for CSP providers to be more efficient and sustainable in operating their networks. Ericsson’s updated On the Path to Breaking the Power Curve Report aims to support them in achieving these goals.
“With continued global deployments of 5G connectivity, the benefits of an energy- and future-conscious wallet are becoming more apparent,” says Frederic Giegling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson. “However, it is also clear that the major energy savings that such a wallet provides across Grid can also be strengthened through other actions.”
He adds, “We cannot continue with the ‘business as usual’ approach. We must take advantage of the broader changes and modernization of the grid rather than piecemeal trade-offs. We must take advantage of the latest advances in technology to enable energy-saving functions and consider better use of our energy sources. Simply put, we need to think differently.”
5G has been deployed globally in more than 200 networks since the previous release of the report. The updated report outlines three steps on how to scale 5G with sustainability in mind and reduce overall network power consumption by challenging the traditional industry approach.
- Plan differently Focus on the development of the sustainable network; Adopt a comprehensive view of corporate goals and network realities to allow network planning and operation to support business and sustainability ambitions.
- Spread In a different way – Effective upgrading of the existing network is essential when scaling up 5G to reduce the overall power consumption of the mobile network.
- It works differently – Leverage artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) and automation to increase traffic performance for deployed devices while using less energy.
As Wireless Access Network (RAN) products and solutions consume the most power over the mobile network, the report highlights the need for CSPs to constantly prioritize energy savings in the RAN as new generations of energy-efficient products are launched. This is the best way to keep energy usage under control while delivering an excellent user experience.
The report recommends a comprehensive look at the evolution, expansion and operation of the network to break the upward trajectory of mobile power consumption. This approach will also help meet the challenge of the exponential growth of data traffic.
It provides guidance on how to be more energy efficient, sustainable and cost-effective while expanding the reach and benefits of 5G with new and advanced use cases, thus helping CSPs achieve the overall goal – the projected net-zero status by 2050.
Download the full report here
* Background on Net Zero: The ICT industry plays a critical role in enabling the critical and accelerated climate action that today’s investors and regulators are demanding and has the potential to reduce total global industrial emissions by up to 15 percent. These demands are stimulated by intensifying pressures from consumers, customers and the broader supply chain. To meet these demands and align with the global 1.5°C ambition set out in the Paris Agreement, companies must adopt a full value chain approach to setting climate targets on a net-zero timeline – with a commitment to halve total emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero status by 2050. To reach net zero, it is important to reduce power consumption and break the curve.