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Huawei's Aaron Jiang: Green Innovation for Low-Carbon 5G

Oct 19, 2021

[Dubai, the UAE, October 19, 2021] At the 2021 Better World Summit: Green ICT for Green Development, Aaron Jiang, President of Huawei's SingleRAN Product Line, delivered a keynote speech titled "Innovate Towards Green 5G Networks". "5G is quickly emerging as a new engine to drive the growth of wireless networks," said Aaron Jiang. "The increasing demand from both users and verticals for wireless networks will lead data traffic to soar rapidly, creating a difficult situation regarding energy consumption. We need to innovate from end to end, to build mobile networks that excel in both performance and energy efficiency."

Aaron Jiang

Aaron Jiang giving keynote speech on BWS 2021

The world has agreed upon climate action, and as part of this, the ICT industry needs to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 to achieve global greenhouse gas emissions targets. Many operators have announced goals to this regard, utilizing ICT technologies to reduce the carbon emissions both from mobile networks and various vertical industries.

"In this context, we must innovate equipment, sites, and networks from end to end, to build green 5G networks that will facilitate low-carbon development," emphasized Jiang.

End-to-End Hardware Innovation Improves Device Energy Efficiency and Simplifies Site Construction to Maximize Site Value.

  • MetaAAU reduces power consumption by 30%.

MetaAAU is a new product that is a result of Huawei's continuous efforts to help operators build green networks. It uses an extremely large antenna array (ELAA) to provide the same level of coverage with a lower transmit power. The field tests in Hangzhou of China's eastern Zhejiang province show that MetaAAU consumes around 30% less energy than conventional AAU products.

  • Ultra-wideband RRU supports more bands with the same level of power consumption.

Operators are introducing more sub-3 GHz bands to improve network coverage and capacity. Ultra-wideband RRU modules use ultra-wideband power amplifiers, hardware units, and advanced algorithms to integrate multiple single-band devices down into a single box with an ultra-compact form factor. This provides support for more bands under the same level of power consumption.

A Russian operator has also used one ultra-wideband RRU module to deploy another two bands, 1800 and 2100 MHz, on top of the previous 2600 MHz band. This expansion achieved a 16.4% reduction in energy consumption while increasing the overall capacity by 12.2% and improving user experience metrics by 180%.

  • High-efficiency antennas raise energy efficiency by 15%.

A higher antenna efficiency is conducive to improving overall device energy efficiency. Energy efficiency in antennas has not drawn much attention until recently, but Huawei has invested in this field for years, achieving a number of breakthroughs. For example, Huawei has developed signal direct injection feeding (SDIF) technology to create a cable-free internal antenna structure through highly integrated design and advanced processing. By removing the 100 m length of cables inside an antenna, SDIF significantly reduces energy lost on cables, helping boosting antenna efficiency by 15%. As a result, the same level of coverage can be achieved with a 20% lower transmit power.

  • APM5950 simplifies site construction and supports solar power supply.

Huawei's latest cabinet APM5950 enables operators to deploy sites outdoors without the equipment rooms and air conditioners that are standard for indoor sites, reducing site power consumption by 30%. It also allows operators to maximize solar power to reduce mains power consumption. Its deployment in Greece has shown a more than 50% reduction in mains power consumption after the introduction of solar power.

  • Intelligent collaboration and "bit-driven watts" are emerging trends.

Intelligent collaboration between service traffic and site hardware — including power supply, storage, and usage units — enables networks to adjust power supply and consumption efficiency in real time based on traffic load. Service-adapted energy usage and service-driven smart temperature control also ensure that sites operate with optimal efficiency. The intelligent collaboration solution was deployed in Shanghai, reducing site power consumption by 24%.

Continuous Software Innovation Improves Energy Efficiency and Performance.

  • PowerStar2.0 reduces energy usage by 25% — a two-fold improvement.

Huawei first launched PowerStar1.0 in 2018 to help carriers harness intelligent technology to decrease network energy consumption. To date, PowerStar1.0 has been commercially deployed by more than 50 operators. Its deployment on a network of a South African operator shows that PowerStar1.0 can reduce network energy consumption by 11.6%. This year, we upgraded PowerStar1.0 to PowerStar2.0 by making base stations even more intelligent and adding a number of enhancements to help operators double their energy-saving performance. Test results in China's Sichuan province have shown that PowerStar2.0 can reduce network energy usage by more than 25% while maintaining network KPIs.

"Huawei will continue to develop innovative green solutions and work with global operators to build green 5G networks," concluded Jiang.