Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) announced their Technology Vision 2020 recently. Energy management was one of six major pillars. The six pillars are:
- Support up to 1000 times the capacity
- Reduce latency to milliseconds
- Teach networks to be self-aware
- Flatten total energy consumption
- Reinvent telcos for the cloud
- Personalize network experience.
The key point regarding energy is illustrated in the following chart.
As shown, electricity alone accounts for 15% of total OPEX. In developing markets this can be as high as 50% with a high percentage of off-grid sites. If energy management is ignored the cost of power will continue to rise with the expected exponential growth in traffic. The next chart illustrates that while traffic grows exponentially, energy efficiency grows linearly. Thus, the amount and cost of energy will rapidly increase.
Other key facts that NSN articulated are that the RAN (Radio Access Network) accounts for 80% of energy consumption and that current installed base-stations are 50% less efficient than new ones.
As with any energy management and energy efficiency program there is no silver bullet or one solution to solve this. However, there are numerous solutions when taken together add up to real savings in energy and money. This area is too large for this short post. For now, consider four main areas to investigate
- Devices: Components, Moore's Law
- Network Architectures
- Network Management and Operations
- Marketing and Services
By focusing on energy management and energy efficiency the end results will be meaningful OPEX savings, reduced carbon footprint and an enhance brand for sustainability conscious consumers.
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