Improving the energy efficiency in mobile networks Improving the energy efficiency in mobile networks

Improving the energy efficiency in mobile networks

From EARTH to new projects

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Access to the Future Internet will be dominated by wireless devices. However, the explosive traffic growth challenges the sustainability of mobile networks, because of the forecast of a consequent increase of the power consumption.  EARTH project, finished in June 2012, focused its studies on the reduction of such trend, with benefits for mobile telecommunication operators, addressing solutions that together can decrease the radio access network energy consumption by 50 % without degrading quality of service.

The attainment of this challenging target of the EARTH project has been obtained by providing integrated solutions that suitably combine deployment strategies, RRM and network management techniques and the usage of innovative and energy efficient hardware.

In particular, Telecom Italia contributed to the project activities in several directions: from the involvement in standardization bodies, to the study of base station power consumption models, to the definition of efficient techniques for the deployment of Multi-RAT networks, to the evaluation of energy performances of a particular type of small cells for LTE-Advanced networks (so called Relay Nodes), to the usage of Active Antennas in conjunction to advanced Beamforming techniques, to the design of innovative packet scheduling algorithms that permit to save energy by exploiting sleep mode mechanisms present on board of LTE node, by maintaining the Quality of Service (QoS) and fairness among the users served in the system.

Finally Telecom Italia actively participated to testing activities, by hosting the EARTH testbench in the Test Plant in Turin, and by leading a workpackage dedicated to proof-of-concepts for the validation of some promising solutions selected by the project.

The intense collaboration between industry and academic partners in these 30 months finally produced for EARTH the win of the prestigious 4th FIA (Future Internet award), in which the project has been recognised for its enabling contributions to sustainable and environment friendly growth of mobile broadband infrastructure, bridgeing the digital divide and supporting smart growth.

After EARTH project, Telecom Italia participated to several other EU projects focused on mobile network evolution, and it is involved in the submission of new projects proposals for Horizon2020 call, with the aim to define new 5G systems. Furthermore, past EARTH project experiences served to facilitate the starting of several internal activities focused on the improvement of the efficiency of the mobile network.

The commitment of Telecom Italia in energy efficiency then continues, with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions in the environment, and also because of huge economic benefits that will derive from the usage of innovative and more efficient technologies, in particular with the introduction of LTE.

dario.sabella@telecomitalia.it