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Smart Energy Control cuts CO2 footprint and saves up to 1.2 GWh of power annually
Utilizing the Nokia Siemens Networks EvA (Event Analyzer) at the core of its Smart Energy Control (SEC) pilot project, A1 Telekom Austria AG has already markedly reduced its carbon dioxide emission footprint due to intelligent reduction in the power consumption of its mobile network. Set to go nationwide, this will bring savings of at least 432 tonnes of CO2 and 1.2 GWh of power in 2010 alone - an immediate annual saving in OPEX of around 175,000 Euros.
“We have set ourselves clear environmental goals in the areas of energy efficiency, climate protection, waste and resources. This project shows that in mobile telephony, innovative approaches in our transmitting systems are just as necessary as innovative products.”
General Director, A1 Telekom Austria AG.
A1 Telekom Austria AG is the leading provider of telecommunication services in Austria. The company was created out of the merger between Telekom Austria and mobilkom austria in July 2010.The company is proud of its green credentils – and it has every reason to be so.
The company’s well-recognized commitments to child and youth social work, safety and health are now completed by an environmentally-friendly energy saving program that is already reaping the benefits of being “green and clean” in operational cost savings and emission reductions.
A1 Telekom Austria AG is the largest telecommunications company in Austria encompassing 4.9 million mobile communications customers and 2.3 million fixed access lines. It offers a wide range of voice telephony, Internet access, data and IT solutions, value added services, wholesale services, mobile business and payment solutions.
It is part of the Telekom Austria Group, which is heavily engaged in the markets of eastern and south-eastern Europe.
For A1 Telekom Austria AG, corporate responsibility is more than just fulfilling the letter of the law. This especially applies to the company’s approach to the environment. From the start, ecological awareness and corresponding activities were written into the corporate charter, and a dedicated budget to achieve environmental goals was made available. This has resulted over the years in a series of environmental projects ranging from “green profitability” and general energy saving, to today’s emphasis on reduced power consumption and emission of greenhouse gases. This emphasis has led to a number of striking projects that include the provision of company bicycles for employees, equipping transmission stations with energy-efficient air-conditioner units and the unique and innovative utilization of wind turbines. These have now culminated in the major “A1 energy management program” in which energy efficiency is aimed for through the intelligent use of GSM resources.
For help in the program realization, A1 Telekom Austria AG turned to the world’s leading provider of telecommunications solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks.
Intelligent energy management
The desire behind this program is as straightforward as it is intriguing. At times when network traffic is low, network resources that are not needed – whether channels, sectors or complete base stations – can in principle be temporarily deactivated to save energy. In order to be successful in the hotly contested Austrian market, however, the quality of service available to the customer must in no way be reduced and any switch-offs remain completely transparent.
- Commitment to reduce energy usage wherever possible in line with corporate responsibility targets
- Commitment to quantifiably reduce the CO2 footprint caused by operation of the mobile network
- Absolute need to maintain existing network capacity and quality
- Additional gains of total cost of ownership & OPEX reduction of the mobile radio access network
Analysis had shown that GSM utilization, although in general increased on Sundays, was significantly reduced during the night hours for every day of the week. Normally, a mobile telephony network is dimensioned to handle peak traffic, with handover to further base stations to spread load when necessary. It was therefore decided to dynamically deactivate the 1800 MHz band, normally used for extra capacity, at low-activity times, leaving the main 900 MHz band, which has the greatest coverage, untouched. An intelligent algorithm that would analyze and predict traffic would be developed and would drive the base station shut-down and start-up procedures depending on traffic density.
Nokia Siemens Networks not only had a world-class network analysis tool available in the form of its EvA that could in standard form deal with the basic requirements, it possessed enormous experience in its implementation and, equally important, in its project and service capabilities. Nokia Siemens Networks EvA is a unique automation solution comprising a suite of four distinct functions to solve network operational problems while maximizing the benefits for the CSP. These functions include automatic power down of cells to save energy, auto reset to repair network faults for lower downtime, auto change of network parameters to reduce the impact of faults on the network, and automated processes to increase fault detection, escalation or repair. EvA is a long-term, highly scalable solution that offers fast Return on Investment and continuous enhancements.
- Implementation of EvA (Event Analyzer) Smart Energy Control (SEC) to automatically power 1800 BTS cells down and up to save power at night and over weekends
- Solution approach balancing the need to assure network QoS whilst maximizing power and cost savings potential at BTS level
The two companies accordingly set up a Smart Energy Control (SEC) project and defined joint responsibilities for implementation and operation.
"We consider ourselves fortunate in having a company of the caliber of Nokia Siemens Networks involved in this project” notes Robert Reiter, Project Manager at A1 Telekom Austria AG. “Developing a detailed specification that reflected all of the potential customer expectations and end user requirements was tricky since this was a venture into unknown territory. In four weeks of intensive consultation, however, we succeeded in nailing all the relevant factors down.”
Examination of daily and weekly traffic densities, and correlating these to geography quickly led to the realization that the project initially planned for, and run in the Vienna area, could well be applied nationwide and in different regions, albeit with differing timescales. For example, the A1 Telekom Austria AG national network is designed to cater for the influx of millions of skiers to the Alpine regions during the winter high season and offers huge energy-saving possibilities when its full capacity is not required.
- Fast OPEX reduction - €175.000 savings per year in energy consumption
- 1.2 GWh of energy and 438 tonnes of CO2 per year projected to be saved
- QoS assurance
- Real-time traffic sampling for immediate power-up in case of unforeseen high traffic
The initial project, run in Vienna at 303 locations having both 900 MHz and 1800 MHz resources, has been a complete success, showing the greatest energy-saving potential at night and at weekends. Moreover, the intelligent algorithms employed by the SEC powered by the EvA solution, also differentiate between short-, medium- and long-term energy-saving models, thus permitting automatic activation and deactivation of finely-tuned hotspots such as those encountered at events, spontaneous happenings or city tourism.
“We are now planning to incorporate intelligent energy saving into our high-capacity UTMS network” concludes Mr. Reiter, “and in principle this can be applied to every network in the world. This joint project with Nokia Siemens Networks has therefore truly significant perspectives for the global saving of energy.”