Nokia Deploys 1st Liquid Cooled Base Station in Helsinki, Finland
Nokia, Elisa and Efore have commercially deployed has announced a proof of concept (PoC) deployment of a liquid cooled base station system in an apartment building in Helsinki, Finland. The Nokia designed PoC liquid cooled base station was done in collaboration with network operator Elisa and power systems supplier Efore.
Nokia Bell Labs developed the base station, while Efore developed the liquid-cooled power system and Elisa handled deployment.
Analysis from Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre indicates that the deployment reduced CO2 emissions by up to 80% and energy operating expenses by up to 30%.
Minna Kröger, Director, Corporate responsibility from Elisa, said: “We have set science-based targets to reduce our emissions in our effort to become an environmental leader, and we are committed to providing customers the services that enable them to act in a sustainable way. We are excited to leverage the extensive expertise of Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs for this important deployment.”
“Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs have conducted extensive research and testing to explore the possibilities of using a liquid-cooled base station in an operator’s network,” said Pekka Sunström, head of the Elisa customer team at Nokia.
“This first commercial deployment will enable us to understand the real-world benefits for customers such as Elisa as they transition toward 5G, and how the system can be implemented on a wider scale to help reduce the environmental impact of information and communications technology,” he added.
Vlad Grigore, Chief Technology Officer of Efore, said: “We are dedicated to providing efficient and reliable power supply solutions tailored to our customer’s needs. The power system pilot with MHE (Modular High Efficiency) rectifiers adapted for liquid cooling helps reduce energy consumption and emissions, with a positive impact on environment. We are enthusiastic about this development that continues our long tradition of close cooperation with Nokia.”
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Reducing 5G’s energy consumption is ‘an industry responsibility’, says Ericsson
A new report from Ericsson argues that it will be possible to overcome 5G networks “energy curve”
From 2G to 4G, the increase in energy demand from generation to generation of mobile technology has been steady and predictable. With more data traffic comes higher power consumption, and some operators are predicting that 5G will double their current power usage once fully deployed.
But it does not have to be this way, suggests a new report from Swedish vendor Ericsson.
The report outlines a four-point strategy for tackling the issue of power consumption, paraphrased here:
1) Modernising the network by replacing old, inefficient tech, rather than simply adding to it
2) Utilising energy saving software to reduce energy demand while retaining network performance
3) Optimising the 5G network through using new tech to minimise the need for hardware
4) Capitalising on AI to increase site infrastructure efficiency
It will come as no surprise that all these points can be facilitated with Ericsson technology. The company’s Energy Infrastructure Operations solution, for example, can offer a decrease of up to 15% in energy-related OpEx and 30% in energy-related outages.
Nonetheless, it is interesting that the report suggests that new technologies made possible or enhanced by 5G, like AI and machine learning, could play a significant role in reducing power consumption. In a sense, 5G will go some way to solving its own network efficiency problems, but there is still much to be done on the part of the operators.
“With this new report, we answer the billion-dollar question: is it possible to quadruple data traffic without increasing energy consumption? We believe that it is not only an option, it is an industry responsibility,” said Erik Ekudden, Eriksson’s senior VP, CTO and head of group function technology. “We are now sharing our insights into how the industry can achieve this new reality.”
With the world in a climate crisis, the telecoms industry is slowly increasing the pace of its environmental projects. Many operators have already pledged to go carbon neutral, but the target dates vary widely. O2, for example, recently announcing its new 2025 target, but rival BT still wants another quarter of a century to reach its target, currently aiming for carbon neutrality in 2045.
Some operators are doing a much better job – Finnish operator Elisa earlier this week announcing that it was on course to achieve carbon neutrality this year – but for the rest of the industry reducing energy consumption should be a priority when deploying 5G, not an afterthought.
As operators around the world race to deploy 5G as quickly as possible, energy efficiency should be at the forefront of their mind. An efficient strategy to deploying 5G will not only save them money but could also help save the planet.
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