2023-11-16

How Are Telco Operators Saving Energy with Network Optimization?

In today's hyperconnected world, Telecommunication (Telco) operators play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless communication. However, this relentless pursuit of connectivity comes at a price – a significant carbon footprint. Telco operators are, therefore, on a mission to revolutionize their networks and reduce energy consumption without sacrificing performance or reliability.

What are the current concerns for Telecommunications Networks?

Telco operators rank among the world's largest energy consumers, and energy efficiency has emerged as a strategic imperative in the industry. Globally, the telco sector accounts for a substantial 2-3% of total energy consumption, making it a significant contributor to energy-related challenges. Compounding the issue, energy expenses currently comprise 15-40% of operators' Operational Expenditures (OPEX), with forecasts predicting further increases in the years to come.

Figure 1. A GSMA Intelligence survey about the importance of sustainability and energy efficiency to their network transformation strategy.

The telecommunications industry stands at a crossroads. On the one hand, it faces surging demand for data, driven by the proliferation of smartphones, IoT devices, and digital services. On the other hand, there's the pressing need to curb energy consumption and reduce environmental impact.

Several key problems are associated with the high energy consumption of telecommunications networks:

In addition to these general concerns, there are a number of specific issues that telco operators are facing with regards to energy consumption:

Essential strategies for enhancing your network performance

The foremost area for potential improvements resides within the networks themselves. Network energy consumption engulfs a significant portion of a mobile operator's OPEX, with Radio Access Network (RAN) accounting for a staggering 70-90% of this energy usage. Cellular networks were originally designed to optimize connectivity, with energy conservation taking a backseat. Consequently, this presents plenty of opportunity to go back in and make improvements.

Network optimization

Network optimization is the process of adjusting and configuring network settings to improve performance and efficiency. Strategies include: 

Emerging solutions

Emerging solutions, driven by the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), are poised to reshape the way telco operators manage their energy consumption. AI, with its ability to predict traffic patterns and dynamically adjust network settings for energy savings, offers the promise of not only reducing energy costs but also automating and optimizing network performance. Meanwhile, ML identifies and addresses energy inefficiencies within networks, improving overall efficiency and resource allocation. These technologies, although still in their nascent stages, hold the potential to significantly impact the telecommunications sector by providing substantial energy savings, reducing operational costs, and enhancing network performance and reliability.

These advanced solutions hold significant potential for the telecommunications industry, encompassing both environmental and economic dimensions. Through the adoption of these solutions, telco operators can pave the way for a more sustainable future for the industry, simultaneously enhancing the quality of service for their valued customers.

Use of renewable energy

Telco operators are increasingly using renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to power their networks. This can help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Efficiency improvements

Telco operators are also investing in efficiency improvements to their networks. This includes things like:

In addition to these solutions, telco operators can further reduce energy consumption by educating employees about energy conservation, employing smart meters to track usage, and investing in energy-efficient technologies like 5G.

Figure 2. Essential strategies for enhancing your network performance

Conclusion

In conclusion, telco operators are making substantial progress in conserving energy through network optimization. By leveraging AI, automation, ML, and collaborations with cloud providers, telco operators can simultaneously enhance network performance, reliability, and energy conservation. As these technologies continue to evolve, the industry can anticipate even more significant energy savings and operational costs in the future. Telco operators are steering the telecommunications sector toward a greener, more sustainable future, where efficiency and environmental responsibility go hand in hand.

Energy Network Optimization in Practice: Tupl’s PSA?

Tupl’s Power Saving Advisor (PSA) is an advanced solution designed to maximize the efficiency of RAN vendor’s power saving features in the network while minimizing the impact on end-users. It uses advanced machine learning algorithms and leverages Tupl’s MLOps capabilities together with an Action Manager component to minimize time-to-action.

The PSA solution addresses several challenges in the telecommunications industry:

The benefits of implementing Tupl’s PSA are significant:

In summary, Tupl’s PSA is a powerful tool that helps telecommunications operators significantly reduce their energy costs while maintaining a high-quality customer experience.

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