SK Telecom, Ericsson test Smart Wake-up to manage small cell traffic

SK Telecom, along with vendor partner Ericsson, developed Smart Wake-up, a technology that dynamically wakes up small cells when traffic enters the cell.

The technology is designed to control the operation of idle base stations during late night and early morning. Through intelligent operation control, the base station will be turned off when no mobile phone is detected within the cell boundary, but if any device comes into the coverage area, the base station will automatically sense it and reactivate itself, according to press release.

SK Telecom says that with the support of Smart Wake-Up, a decreased number of active base stations will reduce interference between cells and speed up the data transmission between base stations and devices.

(Source: SK Telecom)

In recent tests, SK Telecom confirmed that use of Smart Wake-Up increased data throughput by 18 percent and reduced power consumption of the base station by 21 percent while still providing seamless service by reactivating the cell if detected access by a terminal.

"Once commercialized, SK Telecom expects the Smart Wake-Up technology to substantially enhance efficiency in networking equipment operation by achieving both network quality improvement and energy saving," said Park Jin-hyo, senior vice president and head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom, in a press release.

In addition to improving the energy efficiency of networks, an SK representative said it expects to cut operating costs of base stations and improve the durability of networking equipment since it will be inactive during low-traffic hours, according to Mobile World Live.

Energy consumption can be particularly vexing for small cells because power lines aren't available every place where an operator might want to install them.

Energy efficient networking is one of the major agenda items in 5G network discussions that are happening in standards bodies and other organizations around the world.

In a 4G Americas white paper making recommendations for 5G, the association acknowledged there is growing concern about the energy consumption per bit, expressed in Joules/bit, that represents a measure of the energy efficiency. Network functions should not convey excessive energy, both radiated and consumed by the network infrastructure, it said. "More interestingly, energy consumption could be adapted to the current traffic conditions to achieve significant energy savings in off-peak situations," the recommendations state.

For more:
- see this Mobile World Live story
- see the press release

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