Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has announced a new initiative aimed at helping mobile network operators reduce their energy use and carbon footprints. This forms part of a move by the vendor to position itself as a green supplier.
NSN's move is of course a welcome one. The company claims that it has actually been a green supplier for some years, but has not been good at communicating its achievements. It acknowledges that others have been better at drawing attention to their own take on environmental issues (Ericsson published a white paper on similar themes some time ago).
The NSN solution is aimed at reducing power consumption in the radio access network, which it says represents 80% of the overall network power consumption.
There are four components to this:
- reducing the overall number of base stations through improved network planning and optimisation;
- improving base station design, both to reduce power consumption and to remove constraints on site location, thereby making network optimisation easier;
- reducing the need for air-conditioning through better design and location, which alone can result in a 30% reduction in energy use;
- better operational software, which enables base stations to power down during periods of low usage (e.g. at night-time) while bouncing back quickly if there is a sudden increase in demand."
Nokia Siemens claims that its base station is the most energy-efficient in the industry, and uses 25% less energy than the next best model. NSN is rightly proud of its achievements in reducing energy consumption across its base station portfolio, with energy consumption levels of 800W and 500W respectively for its GSM and WCDMA base stations. It hopes to further reduce this to 650W and 300W respectively by 2010.
NSN is also attempting to reduce its own carbon footprint, even though it estimates that 80% of its products' impact comes from their lifelong use rather than their production. It is working with independent auditors to measure its CO2 emissions, and expects to publish targets next year.
In the meantime, it claims that video conferencing has already allowed it to hold 20,000 virtual meetings last year - though sadly, it is unable to furnish any information as to how much this has allowed it to reduce executive travel.
Jeremy Green, principal analyst at Ovum