Vodafone is testing an open ‘green’ RAN network with Wind River, Intel, Keysight and Radisys

Energy efficiency has never been more relevant than it is today. Having achieved its goal of powering 100% of the company’s existing European networks from renewable sources, Vodafone is turning its attention to the technology that will power its network in the future. It ensures that next-generation open radio access networks (RANs) are as energy efficient as possible.

At an industry event sponsored by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, called Global PlugFest Spring 2022, Vodafone and several other companies last week showcased power-saving techniques in an Open RAN environment. multi-vendor.

Nikoleta Patroni, Principal Engineer of Vodafone Open RAN, explained: “Our plan is to have 30% of all Vodafone European mobile sites on Open RAN by 2030. Now, when we introduce new technologies that offer customers even better service, we don’t have to compromise our commitment to the environment.

She continued, “We plan to exceed the energy efficiency of today’s mobile networks. To achieve this, we need a standardized approach to assess, test, measure and monitor the power consumption of disaggregated multi-vendor Open RAN. This will provide a greater degree of transparency and help accelerate the acceptance of Open RAN technology for larger scale commercial deployments.

Using a facility dedicated to experimenting with the future of mobile networks called the POWDER Lab at the University of Utah, home to 35,000 students, Vodafone, Wind River, Intel, Keysight Technologies and Radisys duly delivered. They were able to reduce the power consumption of an Open RAN infrastructure by 9% and 12%, respectively, during high and low mobile traffic peak scenarios.

These traffic spikes reflect those typically seen during times of heavy usage on a live mobile network, such as during commute hours and after school, as well as during quiet times when most of us are sleeping. This is the first time that Open RAN power savings have been measured using real traffic scenarios.

The test used both simulated and real, non-client traffic, with “peak high” and “peak low” results showing improvement over a typical traditional RAN setup. Nikoleta explained that further testing needs to be done to ensure that the energy efficiency gains achieved in a controlled lab can be replicated across multiple Open RAN sites supporting real customer traffic.

Commenting on the cross-industry test, Sindhu Xirasagar, Senior Director of RAN Software Solutions, Wireless Access Network Division at Intel, added, “Optimizing power consumption is key to making networks environmentally sustainable. This demonstration highlights the importance of energy-efficient silicon and cross-industry collaboration in achieving this industry goal. »

“Energy efficiency is a key sustainability goal for businesses around the world. Keysight is focused on partnering and co-innovating with numerous vendors and operators to accelerate commercial-scale deployments of 5G and meet the demands of 6G to achieve this goal,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, Vice President and Managing Director of Keysight’s Networks and Carriers group.

Gil Hellmann, Vice President, Telecom Solutions Engineering, Wind River, added, “Wind River is proud to work with Vodafone, Intel, Keysight Technologies and Radisys to demonstrate how Open RAN can be used to effectively reduce power consumption and costs, as well as help support a better future for the environment.

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