Vodafone, Ericsson Implement Energy-Saving Tech to Boost 5G Network Efficiency Dramatically

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Vodafone, Ericsson Implement Energy-Saving Tech to Boost 5G Network Efficiency Dramatically

Vodafone Deutschland, along with its supplier Ericsson, has implemented energy-saving technology in its mobile network. This was announced by Ericsson on November 23, 2023. The active component of the Radio 6646 mobile antenna combines frequency bands at 700, 800, and 900 megahertz and radio cells into a system, aimed at reducing energy consumption by 32 to 40 percent.

The technology was tested in the Live 5G network in Wachtendonk, Lower Rhine, over the past weeks and is now being launched for everyday use. In the coming months, Ericsson’s product will also be deployed in other mobile network stations.

This technology at the radio masts is referred to as RAN. At Vodafone, Huawei and Ericsson are upgrading in a 50:50 ratio.

“For the first time, we’re consolidating active technology from different frequency bands at our mobile network stations and requiring one-third less power than before,” said Philippe Rogge, CEO of Vodafone Germany.

Single RAN has enabled mobile operators for years to efficiently and software-controlledly modernize existing networks, as the unified hardware simultaneously supports the existing mobile standards GSM, LTE, and 5G. “With Single RAN, everything comes from a single hardware and is software-controlled,” said Walter Goldenits, former Chief Technology Officer of Telekom Deutschland, on March 17, 2017, to Golem.de.

Ericsson deploys Radio 6646 at Vodafone

Radio 6646 is intended to enhance the capacity of 5G networks, especially when combined with Mid-Band-TDD via Carrier Aggregation and 5G Standalone (5G SA). The product was introduced about a year ago at Ericsson’s Aachen Eurolab.

“About a year ago, we celebrated a world premiere with the introduction of the Radio Unit 6646. During the Imagine Live Innovation Day at the research and development center, our experts presented the innovative 5G technology for the first time,” explained Daniel Leimbach, Ericsson’s West Europe Chief.

Per mobile network site, the energy demand could be reduced by around 2,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This roughly equates to the annual energy consumption of a two-person household. If this technology is activated across several thousand stations in the network, around 20 million kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved annually.

Vodafone only added the 700 MHz frequency to the 5G Carrier Aggregation in April 2023. Up to 200 Mbit/s can be achieved in this frequency range. However, this depends on whether it’s a 2×2 or 4×4 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) setup because the bandwidth of the radio channel can be increased linearly with the number of transmitting antennas.

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Ronald Peart
As an AI and machine learning aficionado, Ronald Peart unravels the complexities of artificial intelligence, offering comprehensive insights and updates on the tech landscape.