Nokia helps CSPs cut energy by a fifth

  • December 15, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Nokia is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help communications service providers (CSPs) reduce energy bills by up to a fifth and move towards more sustainable patterns of energy usage.

The Finnish company has launched its Ava energy efficiency service, applying AI to the challenge of rising energy consumption in multi-vendor, multi-technology networks.

Ava provides AI services that can be delivered through the cloud. It blends telecoms expertise, AI and cloud based delivery into a coherent service offering for energy control that powers down parts of the radio network when traffic levels are low.

Machine-learning algorithms ensure that energy savings are increased without compromising network quality. CSPs can also use analytics dashboards to benchmark the energy efficiency of different base stations, including batteries and air conditioning units.

ABI Research forecasts that the energy consumption of CSPs will increase 160% by 2030. Although 5G networks are up to 90 per cent more energy efficient than legacy 4G networks, overall energy usage will increase due to rising traffic and the rollout of ever more dense networks. New approaches, such as Ava, can help break the connection between network evolution and growing energy consumption.

“CSPs’ energy consumption in 5G networks is set to grow,” said Don Alusha, principal analyst at ABI Research. “This is, in part, attributable to network densification and implementation of massive mimo technology. The Nokia Ava energy efficiency service provides CSPs with an option to control energy consumption as they proceed with their 5G rollouts. Further, with Nokia’s new service, CSPs can potentially avoid significant capital outlays in favour of consumption economics and variable costs over time.”

The service has already been deployed by CSPs around the world to reduce annual energy usage. Nokia offers CSPs choices in terms of commercial delivery models, including a standalone as-a-service option or as part of a larger managed service contract. In either case, CSP payments can be linked to the actual savings that are delivered.

Nokia is aligned with the ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C. In 2019, Nokia delivered zero-emission products to over 150 customers worldwide, and 46 per cent less energy was used on average in the customer base station sites Nokia modernised in 2019 compared with those that did not modernise.

“CSPs and vendors have a joint responsibility to reduce energy consumption for the good of the planet and shareholders alike,” said Friedrich Trawoeger, vice president at Nokia. “Tangible and rapid results are achieved by harnessing the power of AI, and by moving towards more sustainable patterns of energy use.”