J.A.R.S. claims that upgrading to better cell towers in places like Phoenix, New Orleans or Seattle can help save enough electricity. Gold Partners. The US cell sites consume nearly 21,000,000 megawatt hours (MWh), of electricity annually. This amount is roughly equivalent to the electricity consumed by nearly two million households annually. Cellular communications have become an integral part of today’s infrastructure.
The survey found that “it’s difficult for us to imagine not being able to communicate on the go with our mobile phones and, increasingly, via a wireless gateway that offers Internet service to both residential and commercial customers.” It is often not mentioned, however, that cell sites can be costly to power and require electricity. These are the associated costs.
A site power reduction of 10% can result in electricity savings equal to 195,000 homes. According to the report “US Cell Sites- A Sustainability Analysis”, a 40% reduction in site power can produce enough electricity to power approximately 78,000 households.
According to the paper, each cell site can reduce its electricity costs by updating its radio gear and management software.
According to the research, “without the use of new power sources, sustainable reusing of electricity could readily be used to supply power for a significant amount of similar families.” It is significant that electricity costs and the amount of electricity needed to operate the current cellular infrastructure are high. This has an impact on subscription prices as well as on-grid burden and emissions of greenhouse gases.
The study found that the industry should strive to move in the same direction.
Jack Gold, primary analyst, and author estimates that it would cost around $200,000 to build a high-performance cell site that is innovative and efficient. Each operator would still be the owner of the equipment, even if it was shared. The operators often own the tower and lease it to them. It is a multi-unit rental that looks like an apartment or condo building.
Gold states that every carrier has a duty to upgrade its hardware.
According to the Cellular Telecommunications Internet Association, (CTIA), the US had 417.215 cell locations by 2020. J. J. Gold Associates used the figure in their study. The CTIA trade association represents the US wireless industry.
A radio access network (also known as a “RAN”) is the radio portion of a mobile network’s telecommunications system. Gold estimates that a typical RAN will last around eight years before it needs to be replaced or modified.
Ericsson representative claims it is difficult to estimate how many sites will need to be replaced due to the large disparity in cell site age around the globe.
According to Gold, switching to a virtualized environment can reduce power consumption, rather than hardware.
AI has many potential uses.
Service providers can use AI to manage infrastructure more proactively. They can also use technologies to regulate passive equipment and allow predictive and non-touch problem-solving to lower site electricity consumption, reduce expenses, and increase site visits.
Gold stated that AI technology can be used to manage hardware at cell site sites. AI tools can be used to determine the power required for each link, rather than turning radios on/off at full power (which is what older equipment does). If you are close enough to the tower, you don’t need to send me a signal at maximum power.
AI can spot patterns and adjust machinery accordingly. AI might “learn” that a site receives very little traffic between 2 – 3 in the morning. This reduces power consumption. This type of well-planned management can dramatically reduce power consumption. Broadcast power can also be reduced by using more efficient antennas, such as the 5G Massive Multi Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna.
Ericsson just announced a more efficient RAN. The latest generation of silicon from Ericsson powers it. It consumes 25% less electricity. The updated range includes everything from dual-band radios to ultra-lightweight Massive MIMO antennas and small-footprint antennas as well as energy-saving technologies.
Gold said that modern devices may include software that interfaces better with management to consider a range of energy-saving tasks. Older PCs do this more efficiently than older ones.
Ericsson also believes that a power amplifier (PA) is an important element of energy efficiency. It is used in radios to send the required signals. A PA can often consume more than 60% radio power. Ericsson representatives claim that this allows radio gear to be optimized for its specific output power and configuration. This is possible by continually combining separate procedures into one or by implementing cutting-edge technology such as wideband multiband PA radios from Ericsson and high-efficiency Gallium nitride (GaN).
An important role is also played by the 5G transition
Currently, approximately 25% of the world’s population has 5G coverage. Ericsson claims that 70 million 5G subscriptions were created in the first quarter. Ericsson’s June 2020 Mobility Report states that 75% of the world will have 5G access by 2027.
Ericsson claims that 8 million 5G RANs have been shipped to clients since 2015 when 5G RANs were launched. This information was provided by an Ericsson spokesperson via email.
As of right now, there are 210 commercial 5G networks. Ericsson claims it is the market leader with around 50% (120 networks), of global mobile 5G traffic.
Ericsson stated previously that older equipment could handle more traffic from mobile devices. The company disagrees.
Ericsson’s spokesperson said that 5G will lead to a significant increase in computing needs. These numbers have increased by more than 150. You can use any general computing solution to get 5G performance. However, it is best to use purpose-built silicon. Ericsson’s System on a Chip offers the best solution.
Ericsson claims that its 5G Radio System can be used to modernize infrastructure and can reduce energy consumption by up to 30%. It is available in portable and standalone versions and supports 4G, 3G, and 2G access technologies. It is claimed to offer high levels of orchestration and automation, which will improve operational efficiency. The cloud-native operation can also save up to 20% on infrastructure.
According to the report of the company, “In some cases, it even pays off an upgrade within three years.” The company stated that customers have demonstrated that service providers can reduce their energy consumption by up to 15% through intelligent site control strategies.
Some studies have shown that 5G is more efficient than 4G. Matt Walker, chief analyst at MTN Consulting stated that a typical base station based on 5G uses twice as much power as a standard base station based on 4G. In a report, he also stated that operators are facing a power shortage.