There is a growing need for carriers to adopt energy-efficient solutions across networks, operations, and maintenance to contribute to total carbon emissions reduction and achieve green development.

Huawei released green development solutions today at Win-Win Conference to help the carriers improve energy efficiency. 

"Our green development solution contains 1 indicator system and a 3-layer architecture solution. We hope to support carriers in improving network energy efficiency through the 1 + 3 systematic green development solutions," says Dr Philip Song, Chief Marketing Officer of Carrier BG at Huawei, while delivering an address on Developing Green ICT Infrastructure with Optimal Energy Efficiency. He was speaking at Win-Win Conference.

Tackling the Energy Challenge  

The ICT industry has been grappling with the challenge of reducing carbon emissions even as the data traffic continues to grow. 

"Digitalization of various industries has triggered enormous data traffic growth, with an annual growth rate of 54%, as indicated by ITU. On the other hand, the ICT industry needs to reduce carbon emissions by at least 45% by 2030. The contradiction between traffic growth and carbon emission reduction has become more and more prominent," says Dr Philip Song. 

As the energy requirement continues to grow across all regions and industry sectors, there is an urgent need for the carriers to improve the energy efficiency of the products and solutions in their networks and make their operations more energy efficient. Dr Song elaborated on three ways in which carriers can improve energy efficiency.  

"Firstly, we believe we should improve equipment energy efficiency and renewable power generation efficiency as we develop solutions. We should carry out innovation with fully outdoors and highly integrated solutions that use new materials," says Dr Song. 

This needs to be complemented by simplifying network architecture and improving forwarding efficiency to maximize the energy efficiency of the entire network. Working towards All-optical connectivity, Simplification and Intelligence technologies is crucial in this regard. 

Dr Philip Song, Chief Marketing Officer of Carrier BG at Huawei

Adopting Green Approach Through Sites and Networks
Carriers face several challenges in running the typical wireless access site of a carrier, including high consumption by auxiliary equipment, low level of integration and low energy efficiency of the main equipment and lastly, only one main power source. All these factors together impact the energy efficiency quotient of the wireless access site of a carrier. 
Huawei’s green solution is designed to address these challenges. "To address the power losses of auxiliary facilities, Huawei adopts a fully outdoor solution. We replace traditional equipment rooms with outdoor cabinets and remove indoor air conditioners wherever possible. This can help reduce power losses and increase SEE from 60% to 90%," explains Dr Song. 
Further, Huawei replaces outdoor cabinets with blade power supply units installed on poles. This makes natural heat dissipation possible. As power units are getting closer to RF units, there will be less cable losses, further, increasing SEE from 90% to 97%.
"A single Huawei blade power supply unit can provide world leading output power, which means one blade can support one frequency band, one RAT, and one site. In other words, one blade power supply unit can simultaneously support 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. The SEE can reach as high as 97%. The key technology that makes this possible is the ultra-low magnetic loss material. It greatly reduces the eddy current loss and maximizes energy efficiency," says Dr Song.
Huawei adopts the approach of highly integrated design to improve the energy efficiency of the main equipment. Huawei’s highly integrated ultra-wideband modules and multi-band antenna technology can integrate multiple modules at a site, eliminating the need for cables within antennas. This translates into zero cable losses and boosts TEE. 
Further, Huawei recommends using renewable energy to address the problem of a single power source. "While conventional rooftop solar solutions can only be deployed in limited scenarios and the installation costs are high, Huawei’s flexible PV panels can be directly attached to rooftops, and the installation is four times faster," says Dr Song. 
"To address the unstable solar power generation, Huawei has developed an intelligent solar storage optimization solution to automatically adjust power storage. With this solution, the excessive power generated on sunny days can be stored, and used together with mains and batteries on cloudy days. Compared with traditional solutions, this solution can generate 25% more power," he adds. 
Dr Song shared the instance of a site in Guiyang, Guizhou, where after the cabinets were replaced with blade power supply units, SEE grew and reduced the annual carbon emissions by 4.3 tons. To build green sites, carriers need to move all equipment outdoors, adopt a highly integrated design, and make the most of renewable energy.
Going beyond the sites, there are opportunities in equipment rooms as well to increase energy efficiency. For example, data transmission over coppers and electrical cables is inefficient. Further networks have multiple layers and planes, leading to a surge in energy consumption. 
The green networks need to be all-optical, simplified and intelligent. For example, just moving from electrical switching to all-optical switching leads to a ten-fold increase in energy efficiency. Further, replacing copper cables with optical fibre leads to a five-fold improvement in energy efficiency.
"When it comes to OTN, fiber (EDF) is believed to be a mainstream technology. Huawei has added two new materials to extend the C band to 120 wavelengths, 25% more than the industry average. With the innovative Super C+L bands, the bandwidth per fiber has increased to 100 Tbps. This can allow one million people to watch movies online at the same time on a hair-sized optical fiber," says Dr Song.
A green network also needs to be intelligent. Huawei’s routers allow for dynamic, intelligent hibernation and automatically adjust the NP forwarding frequency based on tidal traffic patterns.
Achieving Green Development at Operations Level 
Traditionally, operation and maintenance strategy is mainly focused on network experience. “We believe another dimension of operation and maintenance should be added to network experience for higher energy efficiency. For example, we can maximize user migration to more energy-efficient radio access technologies, i.e. from 2G and 3G to 4G and 5G. This will reduce energy consumption per bit significantly and eventually lower the NCIe,” says Dr Song. 
Further, it is also possible to regulate energy consumption through network traffic management and analytics. "Based on the traffic volume, our ICT devices such as the router can shut down some ports. Another example would be, if a piece of data is to be transmitted from Shenzhen to Beijing, we can select an optimal and carbon-minimizing path from the perspective of the entire network," elaborated Dr Song.
The energy efficiency indicators should be visible, manageable, and optimizable for better management. Huawei’s energy management platform, NetEco, can visualize energy consumption and energy efficiency of every site. Further, it is possible to create optimization policies, like selecting the top 100 low-efficiency sites for further optimization aiming at improved energy efficiency for the entire network,
"In the future, we will support dynamic frequency modulation and other mind-blowing technologies to further reduce consumption, helping operators achieve low-carbon targets. Currently, we are working with Beijing Unicom to further innovate intelligent hibernation," says Dr Song. 
Huawei is playing a pioneering role in innovating and developing green solutions and strategies for the telecommunications industry. It has created `Green Land’ in Shenzhen to showcase Huawei’s latest and most comprehensive green development solutions and the latest innovative practices.
The communications industry must take a leadership position to help carriers improve energy efficiency while being able to address the growing demands on the networks.