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Project idea

ICT  energy  consumption is a growing concern. With an expected exponential growth in data transport, the communications infrastructure alone may soon become one of the largest energy consumers in the world. This trend has long been detected and is addressed at various levels. The first to respond were the equipment manufactures, and modern equipment is considerably more energy efficient than the one deployed a decade ago.

However, given the growth rates in mobile data traffic, better equipment alone will not suffice to successfully fight exploding energy demand. Its smarter use, exploiting inherent, yet not fully explored intelligence in the networks  shall  further improve energy efficiency.

The aspects of enhancing energy efficiency of cellular networks are taken on by an SME driven consortium (DATAX (coordinator) from Poland, atesio from Germany and BENCO from Lithuania), supported by three research institutions, i.e. Fraunhofer HHI and Technical University of Braunschweig from Germany as well as University of Wroclaw from Poland in the framework of an EU co-financed FP7 project GreenNets, Power consumption and CO2 footprint reduction in mobile networks by advanced automated network management approaches.

The OVERALL GOALS of the project revolve around the following TWO KEY PILLARS:

  1. Develop an advanced automated network management tool with integrated optimization engines for energy efficient network operations
  2. Provide a solid methodology and sophisticated toolsets for the assessment of energy consumption of planned network extensions / enhancements in the context of a dramatic increase in demand for service and radio spectrum in order to provide support to network operators for energy-efficient radio deployment

In this context, EIGHT MAJOR CHALLENGES will be tackled in the course of the project:

With respect to improving energy-efficiency in today’s networks:

  1. Models and algorithms will be designed that allow to perform a comprehensive analysis of how much energy is consumed for what purpose in a network
  2. Why the energy profile is as observed and what to do in order to reduce the power consumption will be investigated
  3. We will demonstrate that the measures for energy saving established in (2) can work in practice
  4. We will build tools for use in the day-to-day business of radio experts, first to establish energy consumption profiles of (prospective) customers’ radio networks, and second to suggest and implement energy-saving measures

With respect to migrating today’s radio networks into (heterogeneous) radio networks optimized for minimum power consumption:

  1. Models will be designed that explain how much energy needs to be invested to service spatially and temporally variable customers’ demands
    1. under idealized technological assumptions but with realistic site grids
    2. approximately for existing 2G, 3G, and 3.5G technologies
  2. Models and simulators will be developed that allow to study the impact of alternative multi-technology (heterogeneous) network deployments on the obtainable energy-efficiency
  3. We will demonstrate how the energy profile of network deployments evolve when specifically optimized for minimal energy consumption
  4. Tools will be built for use in day-to-day business of strategic network designers to establish network evolution paths that result in highly energy-efficient networks

The key pillars and underpinning challenges translate into a set of the SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL OBJECTIVES to be achieved in the GreenNets project:

  1. The S&T objectives are mapped into 7 Research &Development  GreenNets activity areas.
  2. The R&D activity areas, complemented by management, evaluation and dissemination actions  translate into a coherent set of the following GreenNets work packages:

Some examples of our analysis are below in gallery.

Gallery

Did you know that

Consumed energy is an important part of Mobile Networks Operators costs. Energy is 1.0% - 2.7% of the total MNO’s costs.

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