UAE telco du announced that it has reduced power consumption on its mobile network by leveraging 5G technology from Ericsson, as well as its own in-house solar-power solution.
On Wednesday, du – from Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (EITC) – said that it had successfully installed its own Solar on Tower (SOT) solution at 60 sites in its network in Dubai as of December 2023. As the name suggests, the solution involves installing solar panels on monopole towers to get around the challenge of limited space at mobile sites.
According to du, each site kitted with the SOT solution saves 26.6 MWh of energy, which works out to energy savings of around 79% compared to conventional power and a proportional reduction in utility bills. The solution also reduces carbon emissions by 11 tons per year.
The operator says it plans to expand the SOT solution to 270 sites by the end of 2024.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, telecoms vendor Ericsson revealed that du has been achieving additional energy efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint via Ericsson’s 5G gear.
Ericsson said that du’s 5G network has reduced energy consumption by up to 50% after deploying its 5G Massive MIMO radios along with remote radios, including tri-sector solutions like dual-band and triple-band radios.
Ericsson and du have also wrapped up testing natively active 5G energy-efficiency features like Micro Sleep Tx, which the vendor says can further reduce radio power consumption by up to 15%.
Power consumption is a critical issue for 5G. Ironically, while 5G NR is designed to be more energy-efficient than 4G on a per watt/bit basis, total network energy consumption is considerably higher than 4G because 5G requires more base-station density in urban areas and will generate more data traffic.
“We firmly believe it is possible to scale up 5G while reducing total network energy consumption and are determined to help CSPs break the energy curve,” said Nicolas Blixell, VP and head of Ericsson Gulf Council Countries at Ericsson Middle East and Africa.
Saleem Alblooshi, CTO at du, said the SOT solution and its collaboration with Ericsson will help the operator meet its commitment to achieving Net Zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions within its operations in the UAE by 2030 and Scope 3 by 2050, as well as the UAE government’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
“As we upgrade our 5G network and see more wireless traffic, we continue to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.