Despite ongoing expansions and continued, double-digit traffic growth, mobile network operators have ambitious sustainability goals. According to GSMA’s mobile net zero report for 2022, 50% of them aim to meet net-zero carbon targets by 2040 or even 2030.
I’m Rob Hughes and I’m here for an open dialogue about how Open RAN can support carbon neutrality goals.
Sustainable technology is the best way to meet carbon-neutral goals
There are two ways for businesses to achieve carbon neutral goals. One is to purchase carbon offsets. Since this incurs direct financial cost, we don’t think it’s the best way to go.
The other way is to reduce carbon footprint using sustainable technology. While this is a long-term commitment, it offers greater benefits.
Sustainability improvements come from two sources
In general, sustainability improvements come from two sources. The first is by increasing energy efficiency on an architectural or operational scale, for example, by locating, using or sharing resources optimally.
The second is by choosing products and solutions engineered for lower environmental impact. Electricity costs constitute between 20 and 40% of cell site operating expenditures, the majority of which is consumed by the RAN and particularly the power amplifiers.
Rapid innovation brings sustainability features to market faster
Through more rapid innovation and the ability to choose the most sustainable solutions from any vendor, Open RAN enables far reaching sustainability gains that aren’t possible with traditional, proprietary RAN architectures.
Disaggregated, cloud-centric architecture conserves resources
One way to cut power consumption is by shifting compute and software resources to cloud infrastructure. This idea leverages Open RAN’s disaggregated, software-centric architecture.
Cloud-based resources can be pooled across multiple sites, reducing overall capacity requirements and cost, and improving performance per Watt of power used.
O-RAN can leverage new, sustainable technologies
In addition to efficiency-based measures with faster innovation enabled by open networks, Open RAN can improve sustainability through new technologies that use less energy, extend product life span, need less maintenance and use more recyclable materials.
Examples include multiband radios, high-energy amplifiers, dynamic resource allocation and zero-power standby.
AI/ML rApps show sustainability potential
AI/ML rApps are another example where there is potential for developing power-saving solutions. rApps can apply trusted AI to measure and predict traffic demand and use that information to completely turn off transmit power to non-essential RUs when they’re not needed. Open RAN supports green goals through simple freedom of choice.
Interoperable hardware widens choice of vendors
Open RAN Solutions featuring interoperable hardware, components and semiconductors will widen supply chain options and increase vendor competition. This increases choice for MNOs, enabling selection based on sustainability factors such as energy efficiency.
An exciting development for sustainability
Open RAN is an exciting development for sustainability. Fujitsu’s own green technology could help MNOs reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2025.
We’d love to talk about your carbon footprint goals in more detail. We can make a lot of difference working together.
Keep the open dialogue going. Reach out to us today.