Category: Press Release

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NGMN Paves the Way for Disaggregated Networks’ Operating Models

Frankfurt, Germany, October 18, 2022. Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance has launched its second publication on “ODiN – Operating Disaggregated Networks v2.0”, which provides a detailed breakdown on how disaggregation impacts an operator’s organisation and processes. The publication covers RAN, core and transport disaggregation and outlines how planning, deployment, service provision, optimisation and maintenance processes will be impacted. In addition, the publication highlights the impact on processes of cloudification and the need to move towards the use of greater network automation whilst embracing DevSecOps. The opportunities, challenges and the impact on network testing are also explained. Developed by the NGMN Alliance’s Partners – operators, vendors, system integrators, and research institutes – the new publication builds on “ODiN – Operating Disaggregated Networks v1.0” from October 2021, which outlined the opportunities and challenges of network disaggregation.

Arash Ashouriha, SVP Group Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom and Chairman of the NGMN Alliance Board, states: “The successful and cost-effective adoption of disaggregated network technologies, enabling an agile implementation of innovative technologies with improved capabilities to react fast on customer demand, requires new modi operandi. In NGMN, we specifically focus on the operating model of disaggregated networks. We at Deutsche Telekom are glad to lead this initiative, working with our co-leads, who represent other geo-locations, and with the entire value chain in NGMN. “

Arvin L. Siena, Vice President & Head – Technology Strategy and Transformation Office, PLDT & Smart Communications and NGMN Alliance Board Director, adds: “The telecommunications industry has embarked on an exciting journey. One that has started to disrupt the foundations of how networks are planned, designed, built, and operated, through their adoption of network disaggregation leading towards cloud-native strategies. As Co-Lead of the ODiN Project, we are excited to push this forward together with our NGMN Partners.”

Javan Erfanian, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Bell Canada and NGMN Alliance ODiN Project Co-Lead and Board Member, further explains:” Network disaggregation sets out the foundations for an agile and flexible future, setting the scene for operators to meet the needs of increasingly diverse use cases – across a wide range of industry sectors and with a wide range of requirements. We are very excited to work together with the operators and the entire value chain on industry solutions, enabling the industry to successfully embrace and bring to fruition network disaggregation and cloudification.”

Phase two of the NGMN Alliance ODiN Project demonstrates that, while the depth and extent of changes are indeed huge, there are broad concepts, initiatives and activities that aim to support and even accelerate the transition. From standardisation to alliances, from open proof-of-concept and integration labs to knowledge sharing and transfer, activities were collectively identified to support operators and the whole value chain in making disaggregation a success.

In the next step, the NGMN Alliance will work on more detailed guidance by outlining network disaggregation architectural options and related operating model blueprints, matched to specific deployment scenarios and operator needs. It is anticipated that “ODiN – Operating Disaggregated Networks v3.0” will be released in 2023.

Download the ODiN – Operating Disaggregated Networks v2.0 publication here.

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NGMN’s Industry Conference & Exhibition from Sep 7 – 9 in Paris with Top Speakers and Exhibitors

Frankfurt, Germany, August 24, 2022:

NGMN Alliance will hold its highly recognized global Industry Conference & Exhibition (IC&E) taking place every two years, on September 7-9, 2022, at the Pavillon d’Armenonville in Paris. C-Level and other top management participants will share their perspectives on today’s and tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges and the future of mobile telecommunications.

The event features an eminent and outstanding line-up of speakers while offering unique networking opportunities with world’s top leaders from major operators, network vendors and academia. The IC&E agenda focuses on NGMN’s three strategic focus topics, Mastering the Route to Disaggregation, Green Future Networks and 6G – with a particular focus on Green Future Networks.

Arash Ashouriha, SVP Group Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom and Chairman of the NGMN Alliance Board, explains: “Our conference is known to be ‘the platform’ where key industry leaders and decision makers meet and exchange with eco-system partners. This year’s agenda, confirmed speakers and exhibitors speak for themselves, our audience can expect a valuable and exciting event.”

Laurent Leboucher, Group CTO & Senior Vice President at Orange Innovation Networks and NGMN Alliance Board Member, concludes: “Bringing the IC&E to Paris is an honour and with Orange being a major sponsor and exhibitor, I look forward to the event and many relevant discussions with industry peers.”

“We are happy and proud to present to our audience this notable speaker and exhibitor line-up at our signature event. Globally recognized top speakers from around the globe representing operators, vendors, system integrators and research institutions provide their insights and visions for the most pertinent subjects of our industry”, adds Anita Döhler, CEO of NGMN Alliance.

The IC&E 2022 starts on September 7 with a Grand Opening evening event including the opening of the exhibition. On September 8, the conference focuses on the two topics of “Mastering the Route to Disaggregation” and “The Road to 6G”. On September 9 the focus is with “Green Future Networks” including green tech innovation.

Individual presentations paired with panel discussions moderated by renown industry experts Camille Mendler, Gabriel Brown, Guy Daniels and Stéphane Téral address vital themes of the telecommunications industry:  How is the mobile industry mastering the route to disaggregation, with an analyst’s view and lessons learned from greenfield and brownfield operators, as well as relevant insights provided by vendors and system integrators. How to ensure 6G meets market and industry requirements? What are likely to be the key technology enablers offered by 6G? What do we learn from 5G and how will 5G evolve to 6G? How is the mobile industry managing sustainability challenges? And how is this achieved whilst deploying 5G and moving to 6G?

Alongside the conference, an exhibition showcases leading international industry and research partners. This year Autonom, Crossflow Energy, Eurecom, Fraunhofer, Huawei, InterDigital, Keysight, Kynetic Energy, Mowea, Nokia, Orange, and Rosenberger demonstrate state of the art concepts and solutions. This years’ IC&E sponsors include: Alium, Avanci, Bell, Deloitte, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, Juniper Networks, ng-voice, Orange, Qualcomm, Rohde & Schwarz, Sisvel, Spinner, TELUS and umlaut.

TelecomTV is the exclusive broadcasting partner of the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2022.

For further information, please visit: ice2022.ngmn.org

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Further information

Sep 7 – Grand Opening Night including the Opening of the Exhibition  

Michaël Trabbia, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Orange, will hold the keynote speech on the Grand Opening Night on September 7.

Day 1, Sep 8 – “Mastering the Route to Disaggregation”, “Cloudification” and “Road to 6G”.

NGMN Alliance CEO Anita Döhler will welcome all participants, followed by keynote speeches from Arash Ashouriha (Deutsche Telekom) and Laurent Leboucher (Orange). Ibrahim Gedeon (TELUS), Howard Watson (BT), Marisa Viveros (IBM), Vivek Gupta (Google Cloud) and Andrea Calvi (TIM) will discuss what the key success factors are to enable the route to cloud native implementations as well as its impact on network automation. After Stéphane Téral shared the analyst’s view, key operators in greenfield and brownfield situations as well as vendors will discuss how to address the opportunities and challenges of disaggregated networks and what is required to achieve successful launches and operations – featuring Joachim Groß (1&1), Haider Syed (Rakuten Symphony), David Bachmann (ng-voice), Petr Ledl (Deutsche Telekom), Carlos Fernandes (Deutsche Telekom) and Arvin Siena (PLDT & Smart Communications). In the afternoon, Aurelio Nocerino (Accenture), Pavan Kurapati (Juniper Networks) and Anne Stephan (Rohde & Schwarz) individually present their views and insights on how the mobile industry is Mastering the Route to Disaggregation and what is required to enable innovation, speed and agility in developing, deploying and operating new services. Verena Weber (OECD), Takehiro Nakamura (NTT DOCOMO), David Lister (Vodafone), Javan Erfanian (Bell Canada), Yuhong Huang (China Mobile), Takki Yu (SK Telecom), Peter Merz (Nokia), Wen Tong (Huawei), Christian Bauer (Trumpf) and Frank Fitzek (TU Dresden) share their views on what the 6G’s drivers are and how 6G can contribute to the needs of our globe by 2030.

Day 1 of the IC&E also accommodates the IPR Business Lunch on 5G Patent Pools. Laurie Fitzgerald (Avanci), Bill Geary (Alium), Thomas Rößler (Sisvel) and the NGMN IPR Chair Serge Raes (Orange) share their expert views, hosted by NGMN Legal Counsel Stefan Engel-Flechsig.

Camille Mendler, Chief Analyst at Omdia, Gabriel Brown, Principal Analyst at Heavy Reading, and Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst at LightCounting Market Research, moderate the conference and the panels on the 8th of September.

Day 2, Sep 9 – “Green Future Networks” and “Green Tech Innovation”

After a welcome by NGMN Alliance CEO Anita Döhler, Steve Martineau (Senior Advisor to COP26) will hold a keynote speech. Saima Ansari (Deutsche Telekom), Hakan Ekmen (umlaut), Graziano Catucci (HPE), Philipp Deibert (Deloitte) and Jeroen Cox (KPN) will kick off the first session, highlighting topics such as roadmaps to carbon neutrality and implementation examples by MNOs and Vendors, best practice: deployments of energy efficiency standards, E2E service footprint measurement, requirements to metering, green networks KPIs and methodologies – the route to an industry standard and the eco-design of products. This will be followed by a special session, in which four innovative green start-ups present their solutions for the telecommunications industry featuring Sandra Stickel (Kynetic Energy), Robert Johnen (Mowea), Hugues Marceau (Autonom) and Nick Primavesi (Crossflow Energy). Jane Rygaard (Nokia), Ana Maria Galindo (Orange), Yogesh Malik (Tele2), Mats Pellbäck Scharp (Ericsson) and Philip Song (Huawei) will share their views on how the mobile industry manages its own sustainability challenges and how this is achieved whilst deploying 5G and moving towards 6G.

Guy Daniels, Director of Content at TelecomTV, moderates the panels and guides through day 2 of the conference.

6G Use Cases & Analysis

NGMN IDENTIFIES 6G USE CASE

Frankfurt, Germany, February 22, 2022:

The identification of 6G use cases is key to predicting major trends in future usage scenarios and will help to steer the needs and requirements for future generational change. Therefore, operators, technology suppliers and academic advisors in NGMN joined forces and contributed their views on which 6G use cases they predict will emerge in the future decade. The result is published in NGMN’s “6G Use Cases and Analysis” White Paper released today.

These predictions will feed into the ITU-R IMT Vision for 2030 and beyond, specifying future connectivity requirements followed by the work of Standards Development Organizations.

A total of 50 use cases were identified, categorised into 4 classes, and mapped into 14 generic use cases. The four classes are:

Enhanced Human Communication – including use cases that have the potential to enrich human communications, such as immersive experience, telepresence & multi-modal interaction.

Enhanced Machine Communication – including use cases reflecting the growth in collaborative robotics, and autonomous machines, the requirement for sensing the surrounding environment and the need for robots to communicate among themselves and with humans.

Enabling Services – including use cases that require additional features, such as high accuracy location, mapping, environmental, or body sensing data.

Network Evolution – describing aspects related to the evolution of core technologies including AI as a service, energy efficiency, and delivering ubiquitous coverage.

High-level analyses and assessments of use cases were conducted at an early stage in several areas,­ including potential technology components, feasibility, and differentiation to 5G.

Societal needs, differentiated market demands, and operational necessities are key drivers to prioritise the use cases to guide the 6G system design. An important imperative in 6G drivers is environmental sustainability, both in terms of 6G eco-design as well as its enabling impact to reduce the environmental carbon footprint of industries and human activities. Aspects such as security, trust and privacy are also central in considering future technologies.

Luke Ibbetson, Head of Group R&D, Vodafone and Member of the NGMN Board says: “Vodafone is optimistic about how technology innovation can enhance the future and improve people’s lives. Vodafone is delighted to be co-leading the NGMN 6G initiative and helping to define the role and purpose of 6G, together with our co-leads from other geographical regions and the broader NGMN community. We aim to build a digital society that enhances socio-economic progress, embraces everyone and does not come at the cost of our planet.”

Anita Döhler, NGMN CEO states: ”6G is one of our strategic focus topics. Our 6G project is a true global collaboration among operators, vendors and research organisations as well as external stakeholders. With our 6G Use Cases and Analysis, we continue our commitment to providing impactful guidance to the industry in developing 6G, building on our 6G Drivers and Vision. We invite interested industry players to join our endeavor for the benefit of the ecosystem at large.”

NGMN will further focus on these imperatives in future phases of its work on 6G, particularly with respect to demands and drivers. The Alliance expects new use cases to emerge, in support of digitisation and innovation beyond today’s imagination.

Following NGMN’s 6G Drivers and Vision publication in 2021, this publication of 6G Use Cases marks the next step towards NGMN’s work on 6G End-to-End requirements.

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NGMN CALLS FOR THE INDUSTRY TO SUPPORT UPLINK PERFORMANCE

Frankfurt, Germany, February 16, 2022: Verticals’ use cases need sufficient uplink throughput or cell capacity and low enough latency, when 5G Time-Division Duplex (TDD) bands are used to successfully realize their industrial use cases. The uplink performance is key to fully unlock the value of 5G. Therefore, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance calls to increase efforts to enhance the uplink performance in its new White Paper “5G TDD UPLINK”. The Alliance formulates specific recommendations to regulators and other mobile industry stakeholders to support the ecosystem with adequate solutions. Also, various technical possibilities are presented – some of them are related to the management of interference, when differing frame structures are used to support the industries’ requirements.

Wolfgang Fleischer, Head of Network Innovation Technology & Business Evolution, A1 Group, NGMN Board Member and project lead, says: “Some of the applications for 5G technology, particularly in industrial settings, have greater requirements on the uplink – both in terms of capacity and shorter latency. This NGMN Initiative puts these into the spotlight and presents features to enable the networks to accommodate the requirements for such uplink dependent use cases.”

NGMN’s recommendations to better support the uplink throughput and latency requirements of Verticals include:

  • To use different TDD configurations
  • To select frame structure to vary uplink/downlink throughput
  • To carefully select more balanced or uplink oriented TDD frame structures in a local network
  • To consider the adoption of other uplink enhancing features such as SU-MIMO
  • To enhance 3GPP specification to fulfil requirements with respect to UL throughput, latency, and support for the co-existence of different frame structures by enhancements
  • To reserve spectrum for certain specific usages

The NGMN project will also reach out to chipset makers, regulators, Standard Developing Organisations and other involved parties to ensure that these NGMN recommendations are considered.-ends-

Further information and NGMN recommendations:

  1. A number of verticals’ use cases require significantly higher uplink throughput and lower latency than that required by typical Mobile Broadband consumer mobile users. There are solutions available to address this uplink problem (throughput and latency). Using different TDD configurations, as one of the solutions, requires coordination between operators in order to minimize possible interference and support by regulators to achieve sufficient operational flexibility to deliver customer use cases with higher uplink requirements.
  2. Frame structure selection is an effective way of varying uplink/downlink throughput. Additional balanced or uplink oriented frame structures should be made available and interoperable by ecosystem partners (chipset, user equipment and infrastructure providers). NGMN has identified specific slot formats, DDSUU (balanced) and DSUUU (uplink oriented), as candidates for specific frequency ranges (FR1 and FR2). Ecosystem partners should also support operators in making available and interoperable other possible alternative solutions identified in this White Paper to address this uplink problem.
  3. Careful selection of more balanced or uplink oriented TDD frame structures in a local network is recommended to limit the interference impact between local and wide-area public networks. However, if isolation between networks is sufficient (through physical separation, indoor with sufficient wall penetration loss, guard bands, etc.), the selection and use of TDD frame structures are less constrained and may be beneficial for services with a more balanced or uplink oriented traffic profile.
  4. In scenarios where sufficient isolation between networks is not achievable, e.g. local outdoor networks in the same or adjacent spectrum, using different TDD frame structures will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. In such cases, adoption of other uplink enhancing features such as SU-MIMO (Single-User Multiple Input Multiple Output) and MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output) should be considered.
  5. Future 3GPP specification enhancements, including 5G advanced and 6G, should ensure the requirements of verticals’ use cases are fulfilled with respect to UL throughput, latency, and support for the co-existence of different frame structures.
  6. Spectrum, particularly sub 6 GHz, is a critical and limited resource for mobile communications. Regulators need to carefully consider how it is assigned to ensure it can be used effectively and efficiently. Spectrum fragmentation due to reservation for certain specific usages could undermine the assignments of sufficiently large contiguous frequency blocks for 5G networks, potentially leading to under-utilization and spectrum inefficiency.
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NGMN Calls for Metering Solutions to Reach Net-Zero Emission Targets

Frankfurt, Germany, January 25, 2022: The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) today publishes its fourth Green Future Networks White Paper: “Metering for Sustainable Networks”. With this publication, the Alliance calls for metering solutions as an important step for operators to reach net-zero emission targets.

For operators, the reduction of power consumption has been identified as an essential aspect to achieve net-zero emission targets by 2050 or before and to reduce their operational expenses as well. An accurate metering system is a prerequisite to make sure that energy consumption can be properly monitored, measured, and optimised. The NGMN White Paper outlines the metering goals in different parts of mobile networks and the advantages that can be realised with the implementation of metering solutions.

With much of the energy being consumed in the radio networks, particularly base stations, metering solutions have the biggest immediate impact in radio networks. The growing number of sites is another aspect that should not be neglected. The new White Paper mainly focuses on base station equipment and their technical sites.

All insights and recommendations given in this White Paper are also applicable to other parts of the mobile network – including core networks, data centres, and backhaul.

Laurent Leboucher, SVP Orange Innovation Networks, Orange and Member of the NGMN Board says: “We, like NGMN, in particular ask equipment manufacturers to share architectures and communication protocols to improve the measurements of the energy consumption in base stations, being the most energy consuming part of mobile networks. Our request also applies to all other equipment in the network. Accurate metering solutions are absolutely essential to operators – to make progress on energy efficiency, measuring is essential. This will contribute to our net-zero targets and also to reducing networks operational expenses.”

The proposed recommendations for metering solutions assume a unified architecture of a metering system and data collection at site level, for application by operators, thus enabling deployment with low effort. This White Paper covers different use cases and operating models, different topologies of sites including sites owned by one operator, site sharing between different operators, tower companies and RAN sharing scenarios as well.

Another NGMN recommendation is to collaborate with standard developing organisations (SDOs), to create a uniform and more sustainable metering solution for mobile networks by standardising parameters to be measured, data collection methods, interfaces, and communication protocols. Furthermore, it is important to establish an interface between network operators and network equipment suppliers, including manufacturers and vendors.

With these requirements to the industry, NGMN has achieved another milestone in its Green Future Networks Project. This White Paper rounds off Phase 1 while the Alliance has started working on Phase 2 with further publications on various topics to follow in 2022.

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NGMN Defines Industry Standard for a “Global Green Networks Benchmark”

Frankfurt, Germany, January 18, 2022: The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN Alliance) today announces the establishment of methodologies and KPIs for a Global Green Networks Benchmark. The Alliance’s new initiative is part of its Green Future Networks Programme and is set for generating a global standard for the industry. While current mobile network benchmarks mostly concentrate on comparing service quality and user experience, the new Global Green Networks Benchmark will place the focus on green network operations.

Arash Ashouriha, SVP Group Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom and Chairman of the NGMN Board states: ”Implementing concrete actions to mitigate climate action is a key priority for our industry. At Deutsche Telekom, our goal is to make sure that everyone can #takepart and connect over a green network. We are committed to ambitious net zero targets and are continuously optimizing our network to ensure the best quality for our customers while striving to systematically reduce the energy consumption. The Global Green Networks Benchmark from NGMN will certainly help the entire telco industry by providing transparency regarding the operator’s sustainability. In addition, it offers operators a unique opportunity to prove their sustainability credentials towards their customers and be recognized for the positive environmental and societal impact.”

Anita Döhler, CEO at NGMN, emphasizes: “There is a clear need for a Global Green Networks Benchmark. Being recognized for the operation of Green Networks will encourage Mobile Network Operators to engage even more in exploring innovative methods and solutions to implement their networks in an energy efficient manner and to increase the focus on reducing the E2E services’ environmental footprint, for instance, through improved eco-design of products and the implementation of new business models fostering a circular economy. Such efforts will also stimulate supplier innovation.”

The general objectives of this NGMN initiative are:

  • to establish globally applicable KPIs and methodologies,
  • to define a global evaluation methodology, and
  • to define the data sources for the assessment and how such data are obtained

In the first step, the benchmark will focus on high level sustainability indicators, followed by more detailed assessments at subsequent stages.

The networks’ traffic volume is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years and keeping the energy curve flat will be a challenge for the industry. In addition, climate change is becoming one of the major concerns from the end-user perspective resulting in more and more end-users looking for sustainable services from their network providers. Although many operators have committed to net-zero targets, there is a high potential in improving network energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which NGMN is addressing with all its Green Future Networks’ activities.

NGMN invites interested industry players to join this new endeavor for the benefit of the global ecosystem.

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NGMN Alliance Continues to Grow with New Partners Joining the Alliance

Frankfurt, Germany, December 15, 2021: The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN Alliance), today announces that Bharti Airtel, Comba Telecom, Google, IBM and Telia have joined the Alliance in 2021. With a new positioning earlier this year, the NGMN Alliance put the focus on the most burning topics of mobile telecommunications today and in the future – thus addressing and embracing the entire industry: Mastering the Route to Disaggregation/Operating Disaggregated Networks, Green Future Networks, 6G as well as the continuous support of 5G’s full implementation.

“We very much look forward to a mutually inspiring and beneficial collaboration with Bharti Airtel, Comba Telecom, Google, IBM and Telia and welcome them to our Partnership. Winning these new Partners clearly indicates that our new strategy pays off. Our focus topics address the mobile telecommunications industry’s biggest opportunities and challenges today and in the future, and we have a clear mission to create impact for the benefit of the entire ecosystem”, says Anita Doehler, CEO, NGMN Alliance.

“We are delighted to join the NGMN Alliance and look forward to collaborating with other members to build a roadmap for networks of the future.” says Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.

Steve Canepa, Managing Director, Global Communications Sector, IBM, adds: “We firmly believe in the importance of collaboration to accelerate change and innovation – especially in complex topics such as sustainable next generation networks. Joining the NGMN Alliance enables IBM to collaborate with industry stakeholders by leveraging hybrid cloud, AI and automation technologies to drive a sustainable future driven by compute and connectivity.”

With Bharti Airtel, Comba Telecom, Google, IBM and Telia joining the Alliance, NGMN Alliance continues to grow. Today, the operator driven Alliance counts 24 operators among its Partnership, including 79 companies in total, with further growth in progress for 2022.

The NGMN Alliance will be bringing together its Partners and other industry experts at its bi-annual Industry Conference & Exhibition in Paris, September 7-9, 2022. Further details will be announced shortly.

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NGMN Identifies Key Energy Saving Solutions for Mobile Networks

Frankfurt, Germany, November 9, 2021: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance released “Green Future Networks: Network Energy Efficiency”, a publication which focuses on best possible ways of reducing the energy consumption of mobile networks, a key concern of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and an important step towards greener networks. In its publication, NGMN studies the different existing and future energy saving features and their potential when rolled out in the networks – among others, the usage of automatic wake-up/sleep modes, virtualisation technology, and the usage of efficient power amplifiers combined with massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO).

Key aspects include:

  • application of energy efficiency techniques across the three levels of next generation network operation – the base station equipment level, the site level and the network level
  • importance of leveraging the spectral efficiency of the 5G air interface and its more advanced sleep modes
  • importance of deploying sleep mode functions that shut off hardware when the load is low (path to zero watt at zero load)
  • usage of renewable energy for on-grid and off-grid sites, smart batteries, power efficient power supplies
  • free and liquid cooling solutions in technical sites
  • flexible cooperation between 5G and LTE
  • positive effects of massive MIMO solutions in 5G
  • advantages of virtualisation technology for energy efficiency of mobile networks
  • benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based energy saving solutions and what it takes to build such algorithms

Laurent Leboucher, SVP Orange Innovation Networks, Orange states: “Tomorrow, networks will be greener by design! Today, Orange is already working hard to save energy consumption and reduce the carbon footprint of its networks, making continual progress, through its research efforts and operational deployments. However, this needs to be an industry move and this is where the NGMN Alliance plays a strategic role in unifying the industry. With our knowledge and experience in this area, Orange is delighted to co-lead NGMN‘s Green Future Networks project. As an industry, altogether, with the right technologies and skills, we will be able to fulfill our ‘Green’ commitments.”

Anita Döhler, CEO of the NGMN Alliance, says: “To continue improving the energy performance as well as reducing the global networks energy consumption, vendors and operators are encouraged to put a strong focus on the solutions identified by our Green Future Networks project. The path to zero watt at zero load for future network generations is to be continued, especially, considering the use of AI techniques to intelligently coordinate and optimize more precise decisions for activation and deactivation of the sleep-mode and shut-down features, as well as on-demand network dimensioning.”

The publication also addresses server virtualisation technology which allows workloads to be optimally scheduled on hardware, for example by consolidating workloads onto a reduced number of CPUs for energy efficiency. With virtualisation technology, multiple applications and workloads can be run on a single server, thus increasing energy efficiency. This allows multiple network workloads to run in Virtual Machines (VMs) or containers, thus enabling efficient use of the common server resources.

Despite the fact that operators are already increasing the use of energy saving features, forecasts point to a significant rise in energy consumption over the next couple of years due to considerable increase in traffic across a vast range of use cases, new technologies and spectrum, a great deal of connections, and network densification. Here, AI could play an important role. By predicting and learning the traffic behaviour, AI algorithms define the activation/deactivation of sleep mode functionality and site energy management without impacting the overall performance including Quality of Experience (QoE). AI is still in an early phase and more development and research is needed to reach its full potential. AI based energy saving solutions can greatly increase the energy performance of cellular networks.

The NGMN Alliance emphasises the importance for all vendors and operators to continue the implementation and activation of advanced energy saving features supported by the 5G standard. In a next step, NGMN will look at further opportunities in phase 2 of its Green Future Networks project. Interested parties are invited to contact the NGMN Office for further information and how to join the Alliance.

The present publication is the third deliverable of the NGMN Green Future Networks project following two publications in July 2021. The first, “Sustainability Challenges and Initiatives in Mobile Networks” introduces the subject of sustainability in mobile networks and provides context of this broad and complex topic, the second, “Network Equipment Eco-Design and End to End Service Footprint” gives an overview of the existing procedures and visions for eco-design of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) network equipment. The next publication in this context will be published later this month and will focus on ”Metering for Sustainable Networks”.

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NGMN is Paving the Way for Effective End-to-End Operation of Disaggregated Networks

Frankfurt, Germany, October 5, 2021: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance released a new White Paper: “ODiN – Operating Disaggregated Networks” – which explores the appealing opportunities and the expected challenges arising from the disaggregation of mobile networks. NGMN puts an emphasis on the perspective of mobile network operators for the expected benefits and challenges of Network Disaggregation: a more resilient ecosystem and supply chain, lower barriers to enter the market, enabled increased competition and innovation, agility and flexibility, hand in hand with expected challenges such as increasing complexities in interoperability, system integration, efficient and resilient operation. All these aspects lead to the need for a significant operating model transformation. Going forward, NGMN will develop blueprints for end-to-end operating models, enabling operators to make their individual choices, and to address the industry to develop solutions for the identified gaps. This White Paper is NGMN’s first deliverable on this topic. NGMN invites parties across the whole value chain to collaborate in its ODiN project on solutions for this extremely important subject.

Disaggregation demands a new way of working, most likely significant additional integration efforts, changes to the operational model to embrace new processes as well as new skills and tools. All such efforts are required to eventually ensure the expected service levels, operational efficiency, performance, resilience and security, plus the opportunities to offer new and affordable services in order to meet an ever-increasing demand for high performing and cost-effective mobile networks. Whether the benefit of lowering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) can be achieved for operators, is yet to be proven.

Carlos Fernandes, VP Group Technology, Deutsche Telekom and NGMN ODiN project lead says: “Disaggregation is the biggest challenge and opportunity mobile operators face today. Eventually, each individual operator will need to make its own choices, depending on its strategy, its starting point – greenfield or brownfield, its geolocation, local competition and many more. However, there are many topics which need to be analysed and solved, which are possible and worth being addressed jointly in the pre-competitive area, to support global standards, economies of scale and hence to enable competition for the benefit of the end-user.”

Arvin Siena, Vice President & Head – Technology Strategy and Transformation Office, Smart Communications, Philippines adds: ”We are very excited to work together with the operators and the entire value chain on industry solutions, paving the way for disaggregation’s success.”

The NGMN ODiN project invites the entire NGMN Partnership – vendors, system integrators and other interested parties – to jointly analyse potential gaps and work on industry solutions to meet the identified challenges. The project will also work with other relevant organisations and submit requirements to the industry.

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NGMN Green Future Networks Project Demands Network Equipment Circularity and Increased Efforts in Global Sustainability Standardization

In two White Papers, the Alliance emphasizes the necessity of Life Cycle Assessment methodology and a collaborate approach for ICT industry players.

 

Frankfurt, Germany, July 20, 2021: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance has released two new White Papers: “Green Future Networks: Sustainability Challenges and Initiatives in Mobile Networks” and “Green Future Networks: Network Equipment Eco-Design and End to End Service Footprint” – of which the first is exploring the data-driven assessments and research of the environmental footprint of digital goods and services, while the second focuses on eco-design and its implications.

In its White Papers, developed by 24 companies working jointly on the Alliance’s Green Future Networks project, NGMN requires to put the focus on assessing the environmental footprint of the Information and Communication Technologies’ (ICT) sector. This should be done at the different levels of the supply chain and with emphasis on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method as the basis of circularity. The overall goal is to reduce the use of materials with high environmental impact – i.e. critical raw materials – in order to achieve a significant reduction of the environmental impacts and align with a 1.5°C trajectory in line with the ITU recommendation L.1470. NGMN encourages operators, vendors, research institutions and other ecosystem players to participate in standardization efforts on the equipment environmental footprint reduction in order to share knowledge, develop and adopt common approaches. For further details see here and here.

Further, NGMN sees a strong need for the industry to increase the efforts in developing common methodologies to bring solutions to the complex question of assessing services’ environmental footprint. This might be realized for example through collaborative partnerships between actors with different expertise.

Anita Döhler, CEO at the NGMN Alliance, says: “In order to succeed in the implementation of real circular economy in the ICT sector, different sectors need to work together with global optimization goals as a common strategy. We at NGMN invite operators, vendors, research institutions and other interested ecosystem players to take part in our Green Future Networks project to help further enlarging its global impact – for the benefit of human.”

With its White Papers, the Green Future Networks project presents the method of Life Cycle Assessment, which allows to more accurately assess the network equipment’s environmental footprint – among others providing a view on the materials’ footprint and the role of critical raw materials as part of the products’ sustainable design (eco-design). Furthermore, the benefits of network equipment re-manufacturing and refurbishment as well as innovation in packaging inspired by eco-design principles are exemplified. Also, the White Papers present a list of recommendations for operators and vendors on how to expand their activities regarding the eco-design of products – showing how measures in different areas help reducing the environmental footprint.

Jeroen Cox, Strategic Lead Energy & Environment at KPN, says: “Critical raw materials are significant in the design of network equipment. Circular economy strategies like reducing, refurbishing or recycling should be considered to lower the supply risk of the materials in collaboration with partners in the value chain.”

Arash Ashouriha, SVP at Deutsche Telekom and Chairman of the NGMN Board, stresses: “At Deutsche Telekom, we lay a great deal of emphasis on reducing waste and recycling of resources. Our approach of ‘sharing instead of owning’ contributes to resource conservation which is not only good for the environment but also brings along cost savings, and reduced waste of material. We are very excited to be a part of NGMN’s eco-design initiative and we further encourage the industry to keep circular economy as a central focus point in all the activities.”

The NGNM Green Future Networks project was launched in October 2020. It works actively with standardization organizations related to sustainability efforts relevant for telecom networks and issues new recommendations focusing on metrics, eco-design and energy efficiency – to provide guidance to the telecommunication industry in order to significantly reduce the environmental impacts and align with a 1.5°C trajectory in line with the ITU recommendation L.1470.

 

Further Information

The NGNM Alliance recommendations include:

  • Companies are recommended to develop and increase awareness of the challenges related to Green House Gas emissions and resources depletion (scarce or critical materials) of network equipment. To this end, the technical skills on eco-design and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) need to be expanded, specially from vendor side.
  • NGMN strongly recommends all mobile network operators and equipment manufacturers to use circular economy principles (for instance, according to ITU-T L.1023) and environmental footprint assessment (using LCA method, for instance with ITU-T L.1410) and to integrate them in the procurement process.
  • Investigating new business models related to circular economy paradigm is advised. For instance, switching to Product-Service-System (PSS) could reduce the environmental footprint, leading to different hardware design strategies, considerations about product life expectancy, modularity and upgradeability. There is evidence that applying this kind of business model can lead to significant improvements and we encourage companies to look for this kind of solutions.
  • In order to continue advancing in the networks environmental footprint reduction, NGMN calls the industry to increase the efforts to collaborate in order to develop common methodologies to bring solutions to the complex question of assessing services environmental footprint. Collaborative partnerships between actors with different expertise will also help to overcome a lack of skilled experts to this end.
  • NGMN recommends that vendors, operators, research institutions and other ecosystem players participate in standardization efforts on the equipment environmental footprint reduction to share knowledge and to develop and adopt common approaches.
  • Also, NGMN strongly encourages vendors to expand their activities regarding eco-design of products, taking the environmental footprint into account as well as critical materials usage, refurbishing and re-manufacturing.