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Vodafone 5G trial cuts energy usage by 43%

vodafone

Vodafone UK, and network supplier Ericsson, have joined forces to carry out a 5G mobile broadband network trial that showed a staggering 43% reduction in energy consumption.

The trial, carried out in Central London, even reached reductions of 55% during off-peak hours.

The trial put Ericsson’s newest antenna-integrated radio solution, AIR 3227, through its paces. The new tech was deployed on top of Vodafone’s office in Southwark, London.

Vodafone’s controlled trial saw a 43% decrease in average daily energy consumption when compared to the previous generation of technology.

Deploying the new networking solution will help Vodafone to decrease the forecasted energy consumption of its 5G network going forward.

The network provider said that it plans to deploy 1500 units of the AIR 3227 antennas by April next year, which will aid them in creating a more environmentally-friendly 5G networking strategy.

The new units are 51% lighter than what is currently in use, and have superior energy management features. The antennas also have a more compact design, which should help to speed up 5G rollouts as they minimise overall site footprint.

Chief Network Officer of Vodafone UK, Andrea Dona, said: “Our strategy is simple; turn off anything we don’t need, modernise our network where possible, and use the most energy efficient options available without compromising the service we deliver to our customers. The success of this trial allows us to explore new ways we can more effectively manage the energy consumption of our network with our partner Ericsson. There is no silver bullet for managing network energy consumption – it is about putting sustainability at the heart of every decision and adding up all the small gains to make a material difference.”

Additionally, Vodafone is taking on a new project to use spectrum and energy resources more efficiently. This has involved re-farming some of its 3G frequency bands to support 4G instead. A similar process, using just a software upgrade, can be used in the future to transition the network to support 5G.

Vodafone’s project to re-allocate its frequency bands will help improve 4G reliability for its customers by doubling its lower band capacity. The network also plans to deploy Massive MIMO antennas to further strengthen connection speeds.

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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