Tag Archive for: White Paper

02_GreenFutureNetworks

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”.

01_Disaggregation

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.

02_GreenFutureNetworks

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.

 

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NGMN Alliance Launches Green Future Networks Project

Frankfurt, Germany – With its Green Future Networks project, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance will introduce aligned green targets to address climate action demands across the telecoms ecosystem. Working towards improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and increasing the use of recyclable materials, the project strives to address the industry’s social responsibility in regard to the impact of the mobile ecosystem on the environment.

The NGMN 5G White Paper 2 has already touched on this subject and will be used as a basis to guide the project, which will have a particular focus on four main topics:

  • End-to-End services footprint, considering not only the energy consumed during service but also the production and disposal of equipment used to provide the service
  • Eco-design of equipment and products
  • Network energy efficiency, e.g. to define the next steps on advanced sleep modes and to explore the on-line network dimensioning by using AI techniques
  • On-board metering in order to provide means to control the energy consumption.

“NGMN is in a unique position to consolidate a common view in the operator’s community to foster the adoption of green solutions, including a common methodology for end-to-end life cycle analysis and eco-design of products. This shared view is essential for enabling a coherent and common green strategy among Telcos, and to fulfil the requirements of regulators and the next customers’ generation,” stated Ana Maria Galindo Serrano, responsible for Green ITN Performance & Communication at Orange, and lead of the Green Future Networks project.

Increasing the usage of green technology and enabling networks with greater energy efficiency is fundamental for operators, since the number and type of customers, connected devices and traffic will continue to grow significantly over the next few years, which may result in an increase of network energy consumption. To tackle this topic, the project will look into the use of renewable energy to reduce the energy carbon footprint and discuss insights on the reduction of the environmental footprint of networks.

“Creating a cleaner and more sustainable mobile network ecosystem is of the utmost global importance and therefore, one of our main goals. We are proud to bring together the entire NGMN Alliance to jointly work on taking action to contribute our share in reducing the risks and effects of climate change, while at the same time achieving significant cost savings for our operator partners as well as many other industry players,” commented Anita Döhler, CEO of the NGMN Alliance.