Commercial, Energy Efficiency - December 7, 2020
Nokia and Telefónica find 5G to be 90% more energy efficient than previous networks
Nokia and Telefónica announced Dec. 2 the findings of a joint study concluding that 5G networks are up to 90% more energy efficient per traffic unit than legacy 4G networks.
The two telecommunications companies conducted the study over a three-month period based on the power consumption of Telefónica’s Radio Access Network (RAN) and analyzed the energy consumed per Mbps based on the traffic load distribution. Devices using 5G technology were revealed to use significantly less energy thanks to energy-saving hardware and software features.
“Our greatest contribution to overcoming the world’s sustainability challenges is through the solutions and technology we develop and provide,” Tommi Uitto, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said in a statement. “We place huge importance on this. Nokia’s technology is designed to be energy efficient during use but also require less energy during manufacture. This important study highlights how mobile operators can offset energy gains during their rollouts helping them to be more environmentally responsible while allowing them to achieve significant cost savings.”
While 5G networks use more data bits per kW of energy, these networks will require further action to minimize carbon emissions associated with exponentially increased data traffic. This includes energy-saving features at the radio base station and network levels, like 5G power-saving features, small cell deployments and new 5G architecture and protocols.
Nokia and Telefónica are developing smart energy network infrastructure and power-saving features using machine learning and artificial intelligence to build green 5G networks. Both companies have aligned their emissions targets with the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement and Nokia in particular is pursuing a goal of reducing its operational emissions by 41% between 2019 and 2030.